‘Flesh-Eating Bacteria’ Causes 2nd Death in Texas Since Hurricane Harvey – New York Times

More than 75 people died in the hurricane, which made landfall in South Texas in late August and battered the region.

In September, Nancy Reed, 77, died from necrotizing fasciitis after she fell inside a flooded home in Houston’s Kingwood community and broke her arm. The bacteria entered her body through cuts, the Harris County medical examiner said.

Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Texas Department of State Health Services, confirmed that his department was aware of “at least two” two deaths from necrotizing fasciitis related to the hurricane.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, necrotizing fasciitis is a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly, killing the body’s soft tissue. It can be deadly in a very short time, unless it is promptly diagnosed and treated with antibiotics and surgery.

The best way to prevent the infection is by cleaning and covering open wounds with dry bandages until they are healed.

Various types of bacteria can cause the infection, but public health experts consider Group A streptococcus to be the most common, with about 700 to 1,100 such cases occurring each year in the United States since 2010, the C.D.C. said.

Symptoms include warm skin with red or purplish areas of painful swelling after the injury, followed by fever, chills, fatigue and vomiting.

“This is a very rare infection, but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking for this person’s family and friends,” Dr. Keiser said.

A notice about Mr. Zurita’s funeral service, which was held on Sunday, described him as a loving father and hardworking carpenter who had moved to the United States from Mexico. Among other family members, he is survived by his wife and a daughter.

“He moved to the United States to help his family. He remained to help with the rebuilding after Hurricane Harvey that hit Harris and Galveston Counties,” the obituary said. “While working the current rebuilding efforts he was struck with an illness that claimed his life.”

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‘Flesh-Eating Bacteria’ Causes 2nd Death in Texas Since Hurricane Harvey – New York Times

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