First Zika-related death in US reported in Utah

The first Zika-related death in the continental United States has been confirmed by the Salt Lake County Health Department in Utah.

Officials confirmed the death on Friday in a Facebook post.

The individual, whose sex has not been released, died in late June after traveling to an area with active Zika transmission. The person was elderly and had an underlying health condition. Due to this, officials may not be able to determine exactly how Zika contributed to the death.

"This unfortunate situation is a tragic reminder of how important it is to receive proper pre-travel education and to protect yourself from mosquitoes when traveling abroad," said Dagmar Vitek, MD, medical director of the county health department.

More than 1,130 people in the continental U.S. have been diagnosed with Zika, and most of the cases are travel-related (fourteen were acquired via sexual transmission, and one was acquired accidently in a lab).

Most people with Zika typically don't show symptoms, but the virus has been linked to birth defects. According to the CDC, 320 women in the U.S. have a Zika infection, and seven infants have been more with Zika-related birth defects so far.

More articles on Zika:
320 pregnant women in US infected with Zika
CDC, EPA urge Puerto Rico to start aerial spraying to fight Zika mosquitoes
UPenn researchers say they have a portable $2 test for Zika

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