Puerto Rican Children Show Signs of PTSD After Hurricane Maria

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Puerto Rican Debora Oquendo and her 10-month-old daughter in Orlando, Florida, U.S., December 4, 2017. (REUTERS/Alvin Baez).

Hurricane Maria has affected the mental health of children living in Puerto Rico, according to a new study.

A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on April 26 found that 7.2 percent of youth reported “clinically significant” symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after Hurricane Maria hit the island in September 2017. The research was conducted by the Puerto Rico Department of Education, the National Child Traumatic Stress Network Hurricane Assessment and Referral Tool, and the Medical University of South Carolina.

The hurricane’s death toll was estimated at 2,975 but could be higher, CBS News previously reported. The survey noted that 29.9 percent of youth believed their lives were at risk during the hurricane.

Following the natural disaster, 83.9 percent of youth saw homes that were damaged and…

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