It has not been easy for people in Puerto Rico to deal with their daily routine after hurricane Maria took away almost everything they had.

The conditions are so bad down there that there is no electricity in many parts of the island; most residents do not have access to clean water.

However, those that do have water are not sure if water is drinkable or not.

Moreover, anything that holds water from the rains is becoming a primary source for quickly spreading disease.

One of the top Puerto Rican scientists for epidemiology, Carmen Deseda, claims that as of now there have been more than seventy cases of leptospirosis on the island.

According to Wikipedia, Leptospirosis is an infection caused by a corkscrew-shaped bacteria called Leptospira.

In simple words, the animal urine that has contaminated the water and soil is helping to transmit the disease to people.

The infection causes high fever, vomiting, yellow skin, and can result in death if it is not treated with antibiotics.

One such case reported by Huffington Posts states that 28-year-old Christian Romera lost his brother because of this infection.

“I feel like a part of me is missing,” he told Huffington Post in an interview. “He was older than me by a year and three months. We literally grew up together, hand by hand, doing the same things, going to the same places.”

His elder brother Romsy Romero passed away on the Thursday 5th October.

The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are currently in the process of studying these cases before they can confirm the exact causes of death. However, tests performed in the local labs on the island have all pointed to Leptospirosis as being the cause.

Carmen Deseda says that the infection can also be contracted via the skin i.e. one can get infected just by taking a bath in water that contains traces of animal urine.

She warned that people should stop walking barefoot on the streets and avoid walking through puddles of water.

“Under no circumstances can we allow our children or anyone else to be bathing or being in the water for prolonged periods in areas where there is standing water and that water may be contaminated with mouse urine,” reports Metro.

Source: The Huffington Post, ABC News, The Daily Mail, Metro PR