Puerto Rico Health Secretary Confirms First Zika-Related Death

Result of severe thrombocytopenia caused by infection with the virus
Result of severe thrombocytopenia caused by infection with the virus

HealthDay News — The first known Zika virus-linked death in Puerto Rico was announced Friday by officials of the U.S. territory.

A 70-year-old man with Zika died in February from severe thrombocytopenia. The death was announced by Puerto Rico's health secretary, Ana Rius. 

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To date, Puerto Rico has had more than 600 Zika cases, including 73 involving pregnant women. All 14 women who have given birth so far have had healthy babies, the Associated Press reported. Sixteen of the Zika patients in Puerto Rico have been hospitalized and 4 are believed to have developed temporary paralysis due to the mosquito-borne virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC is urging all residents of and travelers to Puerto Rico to continue to protect themselves from mosquito bites, take precautions to reduce the risk of sexual transmission of the virus, and seek medical care for any acute illness with rash or fever.

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