On September 20, 2017, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico. A "Category 4" storm when it hit the island, Maria was the strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in almost a century, and it caused significant, widespread damage. The total number of people who died due to Hurricane Maria is unknown; as of November 4, officials have confirmed 55 deaths from the storm on the island, but the death toll is feared to be much higher. Hurricanes can have both near and long-term effects on public health (see Box 1). In Puerto Rico, these effects have been compounded by pre-existing fiscal, societal and health challenges. Drawing on federal and Puerto Rican government statistics and official statements, along with media reports, this issue brief provides a snapshot of key public health challenges in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.
Reproduced with permission of the copyright holder. Further use of the material is subject to CC BY license. (More information)