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Deaths from Hurricane Maria increase to 51 in Puerto Rico

October 24, 2017

In this Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 photo, men push a generator along Fortaleza street, one month after Hurricane Maria in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Maria roared across the island on Sept. 20 and after a month, only 30 percent of residents have power. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The number of deaths in Puerto Rico blamed on Hurricane Maria has increased to 51 after officials said two more people died from a bacteria spread through animal urine.

Public Affairs Secretary Ramon Rosario said Tuesday that the unidentified victims had leptospirosis. He provided no further details, although authorities have said they are investigating at least 74 other suspected cases of the disease. Symptoms may include high fever and headaches, and it can be treated with antibiotics.

Leptospirosis outbreaks usually occur when people come into contact with contaminated waters, especially after floods or heavy rains.

Nearly 30 percent of people across Puerto Rico remain without water after Maria hit the island on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm with 155 mph (250 kph) winds.

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