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Health Concerns Rise in Puerto Rico

The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has continued to take its toll on the small island of Puerto Rico. More than half of the island has been left without power and other resources, causing a downfall on sanitation and medical needs. 

The lack of diesel supply has made it difficult to maintain generators up and running. It has been reported that 6,000 dialysis patients are already having their treatment hours reduced by 25 percent. A hospital in Humacao had to evacuate 29 patients, including 7 in intensive care and others who were on operating tables. 

The population of those in need of medical assistance continues to increase as medical supplies in hospitals continue to decrease. There is just not enough of supplies to go around for everyone. The Puerto Rico Department of Health has sent 82 patients over the course of one week to the Comfort ship. This ship can serve 240 people and yet was only able to assist just seven patients last Monday due to lack of medical resources. 

There has also been a spread of a bacterial disease that is thought to come from the flooded waters that are mostly contaminated with animal urine. Already 6 people are being treated for leptospirosis, and others have died from the same disease already. Because these waters are contaminated, the PR Department of Health is encouraging everyone to drink only bottled water and wear protective shoes when around these bodies of water. 

Luz Alvardo, a civilian effected by the storm mentions, “People didn’t die in the winds, they are dying now.” “I.V., injection, go home. I.V., injection, go home. I.V., injection, go home,” describes Yarelis Rosa, who had to take her husband in for an infection and high fever.

Puerto Rico remains in dire need of assistance and aid. With a variety of organizations making an effort to help the island, it is important to get plugged in and help those who are currently less fortunate than we are. Here are some ways you can help.  

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