CARIBBEAN: Elderly man is Puerto Rico’s first Zika-related death

CARIBBEAN:  Elderly man is Puerto Rico’s first Zika-related death

140703-mosquito-1722_c3770309e8050947cfe125e7b1a31753CARIBBEAN360 – The US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) and the Puerto Rico Department of Health have revealed that a 70-year-old man was the Caribbean island’s first death linked to the Zika virus.

He died in February but the disclosure has only just been made.

The elderly man had symptoms for about a week, but after recovering, got sick again, according to Tyler Sharp, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dengue Branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

“He returned to the hospital with signs of a bleeding disorder and was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenic purpura (ITP). That’s a disorder where a person’s immune system attacks the blood cells, called platelets, that allow clotting,” CNN quoted Sharp as saying.

He added that the relationship between bleeding and Zika might be similar to the link between Zika and Guillain-Barre Syndrome, a rare disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves.

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