Leptospirosis – The Waterbourne Bacteria You Have Likely Never Heard Of

Some 26 people died from the bacterial disease leptospirosis in the United States territory of Puerto Rico during the sixth months that followed Hurricane Maria, according to records obtained by CNN and the Centro de Periodismo Investigativo. Health authorities in Puerto RIco, however, have not yet recognized the sharp increase in leptospirosis fatalities as an outbreak. An Outbreak in the Wake of a Natural Disaster The total number of leptospirosis cases spiked dramatically in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria compared to historical averages. Puerto Rico’s department of health told CNN that some 57 lab confirmed cases of leptospirosis were registered in 2017. All but three were detected in the wake of storm. But what does this actually mean? Those numbers represent a threefold increase of the number of leptospirosis cases in 2015 and a fourfold increase over the number of cases in 2016. The CDC, which keeps their own mortality statistics, paints an even grimmer picture of…

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