Minnesota teen infected by brain-eating amoeba
Though being attacked by a brain-eating amoeba sounds like science fiction, the condition is all too real.
A teen in Pope County, Minnesota has been infected by the deadly organism known as Naegleria fowleri, which flourishes in warm, untreated freshwater environments such as lakes, ponds, and hot springs.
14-year-old Hunter Boutain got infected while swimming in Lake Minnewaska, which is the northernmost point the amoeba has been known to exist.
He has been hospitalized and remains in critical condition, mostly unresponsive and breathing with the help of a ventilator.
The chances of being infected by the amoeba are rare, with less than 40 instances reported in the last decade.
One of them occurred in June of this year and involved a woman from California.
She was rushed to a facility in Nevada, where she passed after going into cardiac arrest.
Measures to avoid coming into contact with the organism include steering clear of unmaintained warm freshwater sources and not submerging your head while swimming in them.