U.S. Reports First Zika Virus Death in Puerto RicoPosted: Updated:
NBCNEWS.COM - (by Maggie Fox) A man infected with Zika virus in Puerto Rico has died from complications of the infection, health officials said Friday.
The man, in his 70s, died from internal bleeding caused by a rare immune reaction to the virus, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
It's the first death in the United States from Zika virus.
"This demonstrates that, as with Guillain Barre Syndrome cases, that there can be severe manifestations that result from Zika virus infection," the CDC's Tyler Sharp told NBC News.
He had a condition called thrombocytopenia - low platelet count that can result in bleeding. Sharp said it's a rare but known complication of Zika and not a sign that the virus is causing worse symptoms than expected.
Zika's spreading fast across Latin America and the Caribbean. The U.S. territory of Puerto Rico's been hit hard, too.
The CDC and Puerto Rico health department reported the death in a regular update on Zika. Health officials said they tested more than 6,000 people for Zika infection. About 11 percent of them - 683 people - had Zika.
Of them, 65 are pregnant women. And 17 patients, or 2 percent of all, were sick enough to require hospitalization, the CDC team reported. Five had Guillan-Barre, a paralyzing syndrome that can follow many different infections and that's now being noted as Zika infects hundreds of thousands of people in the Americas.
First widely-available Zika test OK'd for emergency us
WASHINGTON (AP) - The first commercial test for Zika virus has been granted emergency use in the U.S. and could be available by next week.
The Food and Drug Administration gave the authorization Thursday to test developer Quest Diagnostics, which said it could be available to doctors early next week. The company said the test results will initially be processed at a laboratory in California, with the potential of expanding to several dozen other locations. Previously Zika tests were only available through a handful of government-designated laboratories.
Zika has become epidemic in Latin America and the Caribbean since last fall. The virus, mainly spread through mosquito bites, causes mild illness or no symptoms in most people. But it can cause a severe birth defect in which babies are born with abnormally small heads
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