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Identifying Flesh Eating Bacteria and Other Microbial Pathogens from Contaminated Surfaces and Environmental Samples in Puerto Rico

Zimmetry Environmental provides testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate exposure risks to microbial pathogens from indoor and outdoor sources.

Bayamon, Puerto Rico – WEBWIRE

Water contaminated with microbial pathogens can be a threat to human health if people consume it or their bodies make contact with it, especially if they have an open wound.

Following the devastating 2017 hurricane season, Puerto Rico and many of its neighbors in the Caribbean that experienced widespread destruction witnessed a dramatic spike in bacterial infections. Tragically, along with the rise in infections, came an increase in deaths, including many believed to be caused by contaminated water.
Water contaminated with microbial pathogens can be a threat to human health if people consume it or their bodies make contact with it, especially if they have an open wound. It is also a hazard if contaminated water enters a home or building and soils materials and surfaces. All of these scenarios are possible after a hurricane or other natural disaster.
Following these types of events, there can also be an increase in the number of cases of necrotizing fasciitis, commonly referred to as flesh eating bacteria. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) describe the condition as a bacterial infection of the tissue under the skin that surrounds muscles, nerves, fat and blood vessels. Necrotizing fasciitis can result in a loss of limbs and even death so an accurate diagnosis, rapid antibiotic treatment and prompt surgery are important for stopping this type of infection.
The CDC reports that many types of bacteria can cause this type of infection, including:

  • Group A Streptococcus 
  • Bacterioides
  • Klebsiella
  • Clostridium
  • E. coli
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Aeromonas hydrophila

“Necrotizing fasciitis occurs when bacteria enter the body through a break in the skin,” said Harry Pena, President of Zimmetry Environmental. “This could be caused by everything from a cut or scrape to a burn, inspect bite or even a surgical wound. Luckily, necrotizing fasciitis is rare and a person’s chance of getting it is extremely low if they have a strong immune system and practice good hygiene and proper wound care.”
Helping to identify microbial hazards throughout the Caribbean and Puerto Rico are the environmental and building science professionals from Zimmetry Environmental. They offer comprehensive microbial testing and consulting services to identify and mitigate these types of hazards. These services are especially important following flooding events or in sensitive environments, such as healthcare facilities, that treat people with a weakened immune systems. They also recently sponsored an educational video about necrotizing fasciitis that can be seen at:
To learn more about Zimmetry’s microbial, environmental, air quality, occupational, and compliance testing and consulting services, please visit, call (787) 995.0005 or email .
About Zimmetry Environmental
Since 2002, Zimmetry Environmental has been providing environmental consulting services to building owners and managers, architects, engineers, EHS professionals and Fortune 500 companies.  The company is based in Puerto Rico and provides services across the Caribbean and Central America.  The professionals at Zimmetry offer environmental compliance, indoor air quality, asbestos, lead-based paint, Phase I ESAs and general environmental consulting services.

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 Flesh Eating Bacteria
 necrotizing fasciitis
 Puerto Rico
 Occupational Health

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