After The Storm: The Real Risks Of Flesh-Eating Bacteria

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While the oceans have retreated, those impacted by Hurricane Harvey continue to deal with the aftermath. Amid returning to what’s left of their homes, residents are plagued with further dangers as they attempt to rebuild their lives. Take 31-year-old, Josue Zurita, who according to the Houston Chronicle, died two months after Harvey made landfall in Texas, due to complications stemming from the storm.

In the process of helping repair several homes damaged by flooding, Zurita contracted a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis, the Galveston County Health District announced. Just one week after being diagnosed, Zurita passed away. Per CNN, Zurita is one of a handful of victims. Nancy Reed, a 77-year-old Houston-area woman, and J.R. Atkins, a former first responder also contracted the flesh-eating bacterial infection from Harvey floodwaters. Atkins survived.

Since 2010, the rare infection has impacted about 700 to 1,100 people per year in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).