Officials confirm Zika-related death in Utah was a man

By: | Published: July 12, 2016 7:10 AM

Utah health officials say the Zika-infected person who died last week of an undetermined cause was a man.

The virus causes only a mild illness in most people, but infection during pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects. (Reuters)The virus causes only a mild illness in most people, but infection during pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects. (Reuters)

Utah health officials say the Zika-infected person who died last week of an undetermined cause was a man.

Salt Lake County Health Department spokesman Pam Davenport confirmed the gender Monday of first person in the continental United States to die while infected with the virus.

The unidentified elderly man suffered symptoms of the disease and died after traveling abroad to an area with a Zika outbreak. Officials say he suffered from another health condition and it’s unclear exactly how the virus played into his death in late June.

The virus causes only a mild illness in most people, but infection during pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects. It’s spread mainly through the bite of a tropical mosquito.

A man from Puerto Rico, a US territory, also died in February.

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