Flesh eating bacteria patient passes away after Hurricane Harvey

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GALVESTON, Texas- There's been a third case of flesh-eating bacteria since Hurricane Harvey.

The disease had already killed one person and made another very sick. This most recent patient, Josue Zurita, did not survive. 

"He's a very caring person," said Brenda Avalos, wife of Josue's cousin Anastacio. "He has a lot of friends here in Galveston that love him. Everybody is very sad. He was very young and always smiling."

Zurita left Mexico 12 years ago for an opportunity to provide for his family, leaving behind his wife and daughter to come to Galveston. He found work as a carpenter and was doing demolition work after Hurricane Harvey.

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Yet two weeks ago, according to the Galveston County Health District, Zurita went to the hospital with with a seriously infected wound on his upper left arm. Doctors diagnosed him with necrotizing fasciitis, which is also known as flesh-eating bacteria.

Six days later, Zurita died.

"That area--the fascia between the muscle and the skin gets an infection and that's an open space so infections just roar through there very quickly and when that happens it's very hard to stop it," said Dr. Philip Keiser, local health authority for the Galveston County Health District

"Everybody loved him," said Brenda. "Everybody from the stores here in Galveston loved him."

Health officials suggest taking reasonable precaution when you're doing work: Get a tetanus shot; if you have a wound, get it cleaned as quickly as possible; and if you have any sign of an infection, see a doctor immediately.