Texas sees 2nd fatal case of flesh-eating bacteria linked to Harvey floodwaters

A Texas man died Oct. 16 after contracting flesh-eating bacteria while rebuilding houses damaged by Hurricane Harvey, reports The Washington Post.

The man, 31-year-old Josue Zurita, went to the hospital Oct. 10 with an infected wound on his upper left arm, according to the Galveston County Health District. Clinicians diagnosed Mr. Zurita with necrotizing fasciitis, and he died Oct. 16 at Galveston, Texas-based Jennie Sealy Hospital.

"It's most likely this person's infection occurred when bacteria from Harvey debris or floodwater entered his body through a wound or cut," said Philip Keiser, MD, local health authority for Galveston County.

Mr. Zurita's death represents the third reported case of flesh-eating bacteria in Texas related to Hurricane Harvey. A 77-year-old Houston woman died Sept. 15 from flesh-eating bacteria she contracted after falling into floodwaters and scraping her arm. A man in Missouri City contracted the infection in early September after kayaking through floodwaters to check on his neighbors. He was treated at Houston Methodist Sugar Land (Texas) Hospital and survived.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a quick-spreading bacterial skin infection that kills the body's soft tissue. Multiple types of bacteria can cause the infection, including StreptococcusE. coli and Vibrio vulnificus. To learn more about necrotizing fasciitis, click here.

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