First U.S. Zika-Related Death Reported In Puerto Rico

Published: Apr. 30, 2016 at 11:54 AM MDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico is reporting its first death linked to the Zika virus.

Puerto Rico's health secretary says the island has recorded its first Zika-related death amid an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus. Ana Rius said Friday that a 70-year-old man infected with Zika died in February -- he suffered a drop in blood platelets.

The U.S. territory has seen more than 680 Zika cases, according to a CDC report out today. Seventy-three cases involve pregnant women, AP reports.

Zika is a mosquito-borne virus and can cause severe birth defects, including microcephaly -- an underdeveloped brain at birth.

Rius said all 14 pregnant women infected with Zika who have given birth have had healthy babies.

Sixteen infected people have been hospitalized and four are believed to have developed a temporary paralysis condition known as Guillain-Barre, another illness linked to the Zika virus.

Residents of and travelers to Puerto Rico should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites, which include reducing the risk for sexual transmission, the CDC said in today's report. People should see a doctor for any acute illness accompanied by a rash or fever, health officials added.