Deaths from Bacterial Disease Spiked after Maria

A Puerto Rico mortality database — which CNN and CPI sued the island’s Demographic Registry to obtain — lists 26 deaths in the six months after Hurricane Maria that were labeled by clinicians as “caused” by leptospirosis, a bacterial illness known to spread through water and soil, especially in the aftermath of storms.

That’s more than twice the number of deaths as were listed in Puerto Rico the previous year, according to an analysis of federal records.

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