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Puerto Rico’s Health Care Is in Dire Condition, Three Weeks After Maria

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  • Puerto Rico’s Health Care Is in Dire Condition, Three Weeks After Maria


    Puerto Rico’s Health Care Is in Dire Condition, Three Weeks After Maria
    By FRANCES ROBLESOCT. 10, 2017
    CAGUAS, P.R. — Harry Figueroa, a teacher who went a week without the oxygen that helped him breathe, died here last week at 58. His body went unrefrigerated for so long that the funeral director could not embalm his badly decomposed corpse.

    Miguel Bastardo Beroa’s kidneys are failing. His physicians at the intensive care unit at Doctors Hospital in Carolina are treating him for a bacterial disease that he probably caught in floodwaters contaminated with animal urine.

    José L. Cruz wakes up in the middle of the night three times a week to secure a spot in line for dialysis. His treatment hours have been cut back to save fuel for the generators that power the center.

    “Because of the electricity situation, a lot of people died, and are still dying,” said Mr. Figueroa’s daughter, Lisandra, 30. “You can’t get sick now.”

    Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria tore through Puerto Rico, many sick people across the island remain in mortal peril. The government’s announcements each morning about the recovery effort are often upbeat, but beyond them are hidden emergencies. Seriously ill dialysis patients across Puerto Rico have seen their treatment hours reduced by 25 percent because the centers still lack a steady supply of diesel to run their generators. Less than half of Puerto Rico’s medical employees have reported to work in the weeks since the storm, federal health officials said...

  • #2

    3 Deaths Linked To An Animal-Borne Bacteria Confirmed In Puerto Rico
    State epidemiologist Carmen Deseda told HuffPost there is a "fear" of outbreak.
    10/24/2017 18:06 EDT | Updated 1 hour ago

    Two new deaths in Puerto Rico linked to leptospirosis, an animal-borne bacterial disease, were confirmed on Tuesday by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    Both cases originated from the municipality of Bayamón, Puerto Rico state epidemiologist Carmen Deseda told HuffPost during a phone interview on Tuesday. Deseda on Friday had confirmed the first death linked to leptospirosis in the municipality of Carolina.

    In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria last month, there remain at least 73 suspected leptospirosis cases on the island, with one person currently hospitalized in stable condition in Ponce, Deseda said. Puerto Rico’s yearly average of suspected leptospirosis cases is just 63.

    As of Tuesday, at least a quarter of the U.S. territory had no access to drinking water and nearly 76 percent of the island lacked power. Only 49 hospitals are currently running off the power grid, while many others are relying on generators...