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Deaths from Hurricane Maria increase to 51 in Puerto Rico

By on October 24, 2017

In this Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 photo, men push a generator along Fortaleza street, one month after Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

SAN JUAN – The number of deaths in Puerto Rico blamed on Hurricane Maria has increased to 51 after officials said two more people died from a bacteria spread through animal urine.

Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario said Tuesday that the unidentified victims had leptospirosis. He provided no further details, although authorities have said they are investigating at least 74 other suspected cases of the disease. Symptoms may include high fever and headaches, and it can be treated with antibiotics.

Leptospirosis outbreaks usually occur when people come into contact with contaminated waters, especially after floods or heavy rains.

The island’s power utility was only generating 24.4 percent of its capacity on Tuesday.  More than 75 percent of people across Puerto Rico remain without water after Maria hit the island on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph (250 kph) winds.

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