Puerto Rico Family Mourns Father They Believe was Killed by Tainted Water


(CNN) — Jorge Antonio Sanyet mourns his father as a sufferer of Hurricane Maria.

His father survived the Class four storm that smashed into Puerto Rico final month, however not its aftermath.

And the household believes his demise was introduced on by contaminated water.

Like a lot of the island, the Sanyet household misplaced entry to operating water when the facility went out and pumping stations shut down.

Sanyet’s father, additionally referred to as Jorge Antonio, turned sick shortly — nausea, abdomen pains, complications and diarrhea.

The sixty one-yr-previous was lastly admitted to a hospital, the place medical employees informed the household what they suspected was killing him: leptospirosis. He died quickly afterward.

The household — like many in Puerto Rico — had by no means heard of leptospirosis and nonetheless has no concept precisely the place the elder Sanyet might have gotten it.

It’s a micro organism present in animal urine that may make its means into rivers and lakes, particularly after flooding.

Contaminated individuals might recuperate on their very own or with assistance from antibiotics. However there may also be problems that may be deadly.

And whereas Puerto Rico sees on common a bit beneath one hundred instances a yr, there are fears that this yr could possibly be notably dangerous, and lethal.

Already because the storm, seventy six confirmed or suspected instances have been counted, together with three deaths — an official toll that doesn’t but embrace Sanyet.

Some 23% of households are nonetheless with out water as of Friday, with the state of affairs worst within the north outdoors San Juan, the place forty two% haven’t any provide, and within the west, the place the outage hits a 3rd of consumers.

Some households can get to group wells or obtain bottled water.

Dr. Carmen Deseda, the state epidemiologist for Puerto Rico, says individuals shouldn’t drink from probably contaminated waters, or stroll barefoot or swim in them.

However 5 weeks after the storm, that’s simply not sensible for some.

Jose Cruz and his household haven’t any water at house in Canovanas and have been doing their laundry within the river.

Regardless of the warnings — and as his youngsters splash and play — he’s assured.

Requested if he has any fears concerning the water for his household, his reply is straightforward. “No.”

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