Nearly two months after making landfall in Texas, Hurricane Harvey is responsible for another death, this time in the strangest fashion.
On Monday, the Galveston County Health District announced that a 31-year-old man died last week after being diagnosed with a rare flesh-eating bacterial infection known as necrotizing fasciitis.According to the Houston Chronicle, the man has been identified as Josue Zurita. Zurita was reportedly helping repair several homes damaged by flooding from Harvey.
Zurita went to the hospital on October 10 with a seriously infected wound on his upper left arm, according to the Galveston County Health District, and was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis.
An obituary on the Galveston-based Carnes Brothers Funeral Home’s website said Zurita was called a “loving father and hard-working carpenter” who moved to the United States from Mexico to help his family and “remained to help with the rebuilding after hurricane Harvey.”
Zurita’s death is not the first Harvey-related casualty involving the rare flesh eating bacterial infection. Nancy Reed, a 77-year-old Houston-area woman, died in September from necrotizing fasciitis related to Harvey floodwaters.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about 700 to 1,100 cases of necrotizing fasciitis have occurred each year in the United States since 2010.
Many types of bacteria can cause necrotizing fasciitis, according to the National Institutes of Health, and an infection can spread quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue. Wounds that infected and not cared for are especially dangerous, as the infection also can become lethal within a short amount of time.
Proper wound care includes covering open wounds with clean, dry bandages until they heal, especially for those working in floodwaters, and even minor, non-infected wounds should be treated right away. It is recommended to wash hands often with soap and water, and people with open wounds should avoid contact with natural bodies of water.
In related news, an outbreak of a lethal flesh-eating disease in dogs has pet owners terrified after 7 fatalities have been reported this year alone in Britain.
The vicious condition, known as Alabama rot, causes dogs to vomit and grow lesions on their skin. Kidney failure is a common byproduct that causes 80% of cases to end in the animal’s death.
Even more alarming is that doctors do not know what causes it and how to effectively cure it.
In the last four years alone, nearly 100 dogs have died from the disease in Britain.
According to Michael Barlow, whose dog, Lulu, was recently diagnosed with the condition, “A friend of mine who was walking Lulu while I was on holiday noticed she was off her food and subdued, and she had some small lesions.”
Michael’s account lends credibility to one theory suggesting that Alabama rot is acquired after dogs walk through infested mud, through which the disease is then acquired through paws and legs.