Zika Patient Dies in Utah; 1st Related Death in Continental US

The first Zika-related death has been reported in the continental United Sates.

Salt Lake County officials said a patient who died at the end of June had a Zika virus infection that contributed to her death.

The CDC notes that sexually transmitted cases of Zika virus are not reported in areas of local mosquito-borne transmission because it is not possible to determine the source of infection. However, the virus has been being transmitted by mosquitoes in at least 60 nations, more than half in the Americas, according to worldwide health officials.

Earlier this year, the woman traveled to an area that was known to have Zika-infected mosquitoes.

While the Utah resident had the disease, officials are still unsure of whether it contributed to the cause of death. The connection between Zika and microcephaly first came to light last fall in Brazil, which has now confirmed more than 1,600 cases of microcephaly that it considers to be related to Zika infections in the mothers.

Besides Zika, Dr. Dagmar Vitek, medical director for SLCoHD, said that whenever travellers go to other countries, they should be aware of the potential danger that they could face from diseases that are prevalent in those countries.

More than 1,000 Americans from the continental U.S. have contracted the disease - which is most often accompanied by only mild symptoms - while traveling, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

The county health department only learned of the Zika-related death when it reviewed death certificates, Executive Director Gary Edwards said at the news conference. In the case of the man in Puerto Rico, the cause of death was attributed to "internal bleeding caused by a rare immune reaction to the virus".

"Those states where we've seen the highest number of travel-related cases, that's considered a public health emergency for them", Haynes said.

There is now no vaccine or treatment for the Zika virus and many people infected won't have any symptoms, according to the CDC.

While the individual contracted the virus elsewhere, there is limited risk that Zika will spread in the area.

Meanwhile, the Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has also stepped in and in order to stem the spread of the virus across the US announced that it would award $25 million to various states to help 53 Zika virus-affected areas to fight the virus. Sexual transmission also has been documented.

Candidates show restraint in wake of police deaths
Dallas police shooter accused of sexual harassment in Army