Second Hurricane Harvey-Related Flesh-Eating Disease Death

A second person with flesh-eating disease linked to Hurricane Harvey has died in Texas.

Josue Zurita, 31, died last week of necrotizing fasciitis, the Galveston County Health District announced Monday, CNN reported.

He helped repair several homes damaged by flooding from Harvey. On Oct. 10, Zurita went to the hospital for treatment of a seriously infected wound on his left arm and was diagnosed with the deadly disease.

In September, a 77-year-old Houston-area woman named Nancy Reed died from necrotizing fasciitis related to Harvey floodwaters, CNN reported.

Former first responder J.R. Atkins also contracted a flesh-eating bacterial infection but survived. He kayaked through Harvey floodwaters to check on neighbors affected by the storm, according to a social media post in September.

"We're surprised we saw three (cases) in the region, but given the exposure to all the construction and potential injuries that people would have ... it shouldn't be surprising. It's well within what we would expect given those numbers," said Dr. Philip Keiser, the Galveston County local health authority, CNN reported.

About 700 to 1,100 cases of necrotizing fasciitis have occurred each year in the U.S. since 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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