Leptospirosis is no stranger to Puerto Rico and research by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have shown that before people got sick after Hurricane Maria, health officials’ passive surveillance hampered the ability to detect and prevent getting infected with this bacteria.

By Mc Nelly Torres | Centro de Periodismo Investigativo

Jhon Alberto Hernández Núñez fell ill about a week after Hurricane María devastated the island of Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, 2017.

A 34-year-old electrician, he sought medical attention to alleviate symptoms of stomach ache, vomiting, fever, muscle and joint pain at more than one hospital near his hometown of Dorado, but he never got a clear diagnosis for what was making him sick.

Days later and desperate to get him medical attention, his 94-year-old grandmother, Adelina Santana, asked neighbors to help bodily carry Hernández, who was six-feet, four-inches tall, and drive him to Manatí Medical Center.

Hernández died there on Oct. 4. He left two children ages, 10 and 7.