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Operation Blessing Provides Urgent Clean Water as Leptospirosis Outbreak Strikes Puerto Rico


PUERTO RICO – Widespread damage still covers the island of Puerto Rico more than a month after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. But it's what can't be seen that worries doctors. Bacteria in the water could lead to major health problems.

CBN News visited Roberto Clemente Coliseum which has become hurricane-relief central as this devastated island struggles from day to day.

City municipalities have been using this location to provide food to the people. Operation Blessing has also been working out of this location since day one after the hurricane, providing clean safe drinking water for people by giving them filtration systems.
"Operation Blessing has some amazing tools, everything from small family units to larger units that we can put in to a community. It can take sea water and turn it into clean drinking water up to 1800 gallons a day," said OB Vice President David Darg.

It couldn't come at a better time as at least 76 cases of leptospirosis have been confirmed here.
Doctors say the spiral shaped bacteria, found in rodents and other animals, tend to spread after flooding. Serious cases of the infection can organ failure and even death.
"Clean water is an urgent need here and it has been for a long time. Operation Blessing has been here since day one and will continue to be here to help," Darg said.
So far, OB has installed 11 community sized water filtration systems throughout some of the hardest hit areas of this US territory.
"Water filled our home and now we can not find clean drinking water anywhere," one woman told us as she showed us the disaster in her house.
Now, thanks to OB, clean water is flowing from Lares in the north to Humacao in the east to the hospital on the island of Vieques.
"This is the medicine supply of this island of 10,000 people here and Operation Blessing is helping to keep it going with the help of our generator," Darg said.
In addition to water filtration, OB crew members are making chlorine.

With just salt, water and eight hours to time, gallons of chlorine solution can be made.
Workers say just a cap-full in every 5 gallons of water can kill harmful bacteria, and make it safe to drink.

If you would like to make a difference and provide clean drinking water to the people of Puerto Rico, you can donate to Operation Blessing by clicking here.


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