First U.S. Zika-Related Death Reported In Puerto Rico

Still no vaccine to combat the outbreak

zika

Aedes aegypti mosquito

The species of mosquito responsible for the transmitting the Zika virus.CDC via Wikimedia Commons

Today, Puerto Rico's health secretary, Ana Rius, confirmed that the U.S. territory has had its first recorded death relating to the Zika virus. According to the Associated Press, Rius said a 70-year-old man who was infected with the virus died in February. His death was directly caused by a drop in blood platelets, a condition known as thrombocytopenia, that can cause internal bleeding.

This death is the first reported within the U.S. to be related to the Zika virus. Also as of today, the CDC reported that there were 683 cases of Zika in Puerto Rico from November 1st to April 15th.

While death from Zika is rare, other related conditions, including the recently confirmed link between the virus and the developmental condition, microcephaly and the neurological condition Guillain-Barre, are of increasing concern. There is currently no vaccine or treatment to combat the virus.