Puerto Rico reports first Zika-related death

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 from a drop in blood platelets.

LEARN MORE: First case of Zika virus transmitted through sexual activity in Dallas County
EMBED </>More News Videos

Medical expert Dr. Richard Besser explains Zika virus



The U.S. territory has seen more than 600 Zika cases, with 73 of those involving pregnant women. Zika can cause severe birth defects, such as babies being born with abnormally small heads. Rius said all 14 pregnant women infected with Zika who have given birth have healthy babies.

Sixteen people have been hospitalized and four are believed to have developed a temporary paralysis condition known as Guillain-Barre because of Zika.

Zika symptoms diagnosis and treatment from the CDC

Symptoms

  • About 1 in 5 people infected with Zika virus become ill (i.e., develop Zika).

  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, or conjunctivitis (red eyes). Other common symptoms include muscle pain and headache. The incubation period (the time from exposure to symptoms) for Zika virus disease is not known, but is likely to be a few days to a week.

  • The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week.

  • Zika virus usually remains in the blood of an infected person for a few days but it can be found longer in some people.

  • Severe disease requiring hospitalization is uncommon.

  • Deaths are rare.


LEARN MORE: Houston hospitals introduced hospital-based Zika virus test

VIDEO: Texans work to prevent spread of Zika virus
EMBED </>More News Videos

In the wake of last week's flooding, Texans are working to prevent the spread of mosquito-borne Zika virus.

Diagnosis

  • The symptoms of Zika are similar to those of dengue and chikungunya, diseases spread through the same mosquitoes that transmit Zika.

  • See your healthcare provider if you develop the symptoms described above and have visited an area where Zika is found.

  • If you have recently traveled, tell your healthcare provider when and where you traveled.

  • Your healthcare provider may order blood tests to look for Zika or other similar viruses like dengue or chikungunya.

Treatment

  • No vaccine or medications are available to prevent or treat Zika infections.

Treat the symptoms:

    Get plenty of rest
  • Drink fluids to prevent dehydration

  • Take medicines, such as acetaminophen or paracetamol, to relieve fever and pain

  • Do not take aspirin and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), like ibuprofen and naproxen. Aspirin and NSAIDs should be avoided until dengue can be ruled out to reduce the risk of hemorrhage (bleeding). If you are taking medicine for another medical condition, talk to your healthcare provider before taking additional medication.

  • If you have Zika, avoid mosquito bites for the first week of your illness.

  • During the first week of infection, Zika virus can be found in the blood and passed from an infected person to another mosquito through mosquito bites.
Related Topics:
healthzika viruspatient deathu.s. & worldbuzzworthyhealthmosquitopuerto rico
(Copyright ©2016 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Load Comments