US resident infected with Zika dies

  • 09/07/2016
US resident infected with Zika dies

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed that a Utah resident's death last month is the first Zika-related death in the continental United States, the CDC said in an emailed statement.

Health officials in the Salt Lake County health department in Utah reported the death on Friday (local time) of an elderly resident who had been infected with the Zika virus while travelling to an area with active transmission of the virus.

The exact cause of death is not known, the health department said in a press release.

The resident had an undisclosed health condition and had tested positive for the Zika virus. County health officials said it may not be possible to determine how the Zika infection contributed to the person's death.

The resident was not identified.

The Zika virus typically causes mild illness with symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. Many people infected with Zika have no symptoms.

In April, the CDC reported the first US death from Zika occurring in a patient infected with the virus in Puerto Rico.

The man, who was in his 70s, died from severe thrombocytopenia, a bleeding disorder caused by abnormally low blood platelets, which are needed for blood clotting.

Zika is spread primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito, however, the virus can also be spread through sexual transmission.

There is currently no vaccine or treatment for Zika.

Health officials are most concerned about Zika infections in pregnant women because the virus has been shown to cause microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects.

Reuters

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