Puerto Rico reports first Zika death

Apr 29, 2016, 5:03 PM EDT
(Source: Agência Brasil Fotografias/flickr)
(Source: Agência Brasil Fotografias/flickr)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Puerto Rico Department of Health have reported that a 70 year-old man died of Zika virus complications in February, marking the first death from the virus in that U.S. territory. CNN reports:
This is the first time in the United States or territories that Zika infection contributed to a death, the CDC said.
The elderly man, who lived in the San Juan metro area, contracted Zika and was treated for symptoms that lasted less than a week, said Tyler Sharp, an epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Dengue Branch in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
"A few days after his recovery, he returned to the hospital with signs of a bleeding disorder and was diagnosed with immune thrombocytopenic purpura, or ITP," Sharp said. "That's a disorder where a person's immune system attacks the blood cells, called platelets, that allow clotting.
"As an elderly man, this individual did have some underlying health conditions, but they were not life-threatening and not likely to have led to his death."
The Washington Post explains how the Zika virus has been found in a certain mosquito for the first time:
For the first time in the Western Hemisphere, researchers have detected the Zika virus in Aedes albopictus, the mosquito species known as the “Asian tiger,” a finding that increases the number of U.S. states potentially at risk for transmission of the disease.
During the summer months when U.S. mosquito populations are at their peak, albopictus are more ubiquitous than the Aedes aegypti that have been the primary vector of the spread of Zika elsewhere in the Americas. Unlike the aegypti mosquito, which is mostly present in southern United States and along the Gulf Coast, the albopictus has a range as far north as New England and the lower Great Lakes.
The New York Times writes regarding updates about the first commercial test for the virus:
The first commercial test for the Zika virus has been cleared for emergency use in the U.S. and could be available by next week.
The Food and Drug Administration granted the authorization Thursday to the test's developer, Quest Diagnostics, which said it would make it widely available to doctors for patient testing.
The company said the test results will initially be processed at a laboratory in San Juan Capistrano, California, which developed and validated the technology.
Eventually the test could be expanded to several dozen other Quest laboratories throughout the U.S. and in Puerto Rico. Previously Zika tests were only available through a handful of government-designated laboratories.