Tuesday 6 December 2016

Zika patient passed virus to carer

Lindsay Whitehurst

Published 19/07/2016 | 02:30

A Utah man who became the first person in the continental United States to die after being infected with the Zika virus passed it to a caregiver, creating a medical mystery about how it spread between them. (AP)
A Utah man who became the first person in the continental United States to die after being infected with the Zika virus passed it to a caregiver, creating a medical mystery about how it spread between them. (AP)

A Utah man who became the first person in the continental United States to die after being infected with the Zika virus passed it to a caregiver, creating a medical mystery about how it spread between them, health officials said yesterday.

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The two people did not have sexual contact and the type of mosquito that mainly spreads the virus is not found in the high-altitude area where they live, the Salt Lake County Health Department said.

The caregiver is a "family contact" and has fully recovered, but officials did not give further details, including how the virus was transmitted.

The man who died in late June caught the virus while travelling abroad to an area where mosquitoes are known to spread Zika and had an unusually high level of the virus in his blood, officials said.

He had Zika symptoms, including rash, fever and pink eye, but it's unclear if or how the virus contributed to his death. The transmission to the caregiver was discovered after a doctor noticed Zika-like symptoms. Utah authorities have refused to release additional information about the man who died or where he travelled, citing health privacy laws.

Irish Independent

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