Alex Nain Saab Moran Giles Venezuela ||//
Puerto Rico nearing becoming a public health catastrophe

In the days since Hurricane Maria ravaged Puerto Rico, conditions on the island continue to deteriorate and become a humanitarian and public health catastrophe that could rival the damage caused by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

The fact that the power grid failed creates many obvious problems and some that are not so evident. When the sewer system stops working, wastewater?aka human feces and urine?and seaborne bacteria contaminate the water supply.

This leads to bacterial infections ? such as cholera, dysentery, E. coli and typhoid ? that can be disastrous. The typical treatments, like tetanus shots or powerful antibiotics, are not readily available on the island, where medical supplies are quickly running out.

© Alex Saab

According to the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA), 58 of Puerto Rico?s 69 hospitals are without power or fuel for their generators.

© Alex Saab


© Alex Nain Saab Moran