Death of man in Puerto Rico linked to Zika

Honolulu Star-Advertiser - - NATION & WORLD -

Puerto Rico on Fri­day re­ported its first death from a paral­y­sis con­di­tion that devel­oped from a Zika in­fec­tion as the U.S. ter­ri­tory fights an epi­demic of the mos­quito-borne virus.

The vic­tim was a man be­tween 35 and 45 years old from the San Juan metro area who died from Guil­lain-Barre, ac­cord­ing to state Epi­demi­ol­o­gist Brenda Rivera. The con­di­tion can cause tem­po­rary paral­y­sis and, in rare in­stances, death.

Rivera noted that it’s un­usual for the vic­tim to be so young.

“What does this tell us? That all of us are sus­cep­ti­ble,” Rivera said as she urged Puerto Ri­cans to pro­tect them­selves from the mos­quito-borne virus.

The man, who died last month, was obese but did not have any other health con­di­tions, she said. No fur­ther de­tails about the vic­tim were pro­vided.

The U.S. ter­ri­tory has 13,186 con­firmed Zika cases, with 102 hos­pi­tal­iza­tions and 34 cases of Guil­lain-Barre. The num­ber of Zika cases is be­lieved to be much higher be­cause 8 of 10 peo­ple have no symp­toms, and many do not go to the doc­tor.

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