Man dies from flesh-eating disease two months after Hurricane Harvey

A Texas man died of a rare flesh-eating disease two months after Hurricane Harvey slammed parts of the state, according to the Galveston County Health District

Josue Zurita, a 31-year-old carpenter who had moved to Galveston from Mexico, was helping to repair several storm-damaged homes in the region when a wound on his left arm became severely infected.

Photo: Facebook

Zurita went to a local hospital on Oct. 10 where he was diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, commonly known as a flesh-eating disease.

Necrotizing fasciitis is a serious bacterial skin infection that spreads quickly and kills the body’s soft tissue, according to the Center for Disease Control.

The disease can often prove extremely deadly in a very short period of time. 

"It’s most likely this person's infection occurred when bacteria from Harvey debris or floodwater entered his body through a wound or cut," said Galveston County local health authority Dr. Philip Keiser. "This is a very rare infection but that doesn’t make it any less heartbreaking for this person’s family and friends."

Tragically, Zurita succumbed to his wounds on Oct. 16, four days after his initial diagnosis.

"It's unbelievable," Brenda Avalos, a family friend, told KPRC. "We still don't accept that he's not here."

SEE: Before and after photos of Hurricane Harvey: 

Before-and-after images show extent of Hurricane Harvey damage
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Before-and-after images show extent of Hurricane Harvey damage
Downtown Houston skyline at sunset / dusk with a blue and orange sky, orange reflection on buildings from the sunset, and a freeway / highway with light trails.
Interstate highway 45 is submerged from the effects of Hurricane Harvey seen during widespread flooding in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Richard Carson
View of the downtown area of Houston from a Buffalo Bayou park.
The downtown skyline is reflected in the flood water at Buffalo Bayou Park after Hurricane Harvey inundated the Texas Gulf coast with rain causing widespread flooding, in Houston, Texas, U.S. August 27, 2017. REUTERS/Nick Oxford
This is insane. #houstonflood
Top overall view of the huge and busy traffic junction of the Katy and Gulf Highway in Houston, Texas.
A charred, abandoned car is seen on Interstate 610 North August 27, 2017 in Houston as the city battles with tropical storm Harvey and resulting floods. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas B. Shea (Photo credit should read THOMAS B. SHEA/AFP/Getty Images)


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