Skip To Content
BuzzFeed News Home Reporting To You

Utilizamos cookies, próprios e de terceiros, que o reconhecem e identificam como um usuário único, para garantir a melhor experiência de navegação, personalizar conteúdo e anúncios, e melhorar o desempenho do nosso site e serviços. Esses Cookies nos permitem coletar alguns dados pessoais sobre você, como sua ID exclusiva atribuída ao seu dispositivo, endereço de IP, tipo de dispositivo e navegador, conteúdos visualizados ou outras ações realizadas usando nossos serviços, país e idioma selecionados, entre outros. Para saber mais sobre nossa política de cookies, acesse link.

Caso não concorde com o uso cookies dessa forma, você deverá ajustar as configurações de seu navegador ou deixar de acessar o nosso site e serviços. Ao continuar com a navegação em nosso site, você aceita o uso de cookies.

Utah Patient Becomes First Zika-Related Death In Continental U.S.

The unidentified patient died in June after having traveled to an area where Zika is transmitted.

Posted on July 8, 2016, at 10:54 p.m. ET

Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

Mosquitoes that can transmit Zika are seen inside a laboratory in Campinas, Brazil, on Feb. 2.

A patient in Utah has become the first Zika-related death in the continental U.S., officials announced Friday.

The elderly victim, who has not been identified, died in late June after traveling to a part of the world where Zika is known to be transmitted, the Salt Lake County Health Department said in a statement.

Rick Bowmer / AP

Dagmar Vitek, left, speaks about a Zika-related death Friday.

Dagmar Vitek, deputy director of the Salt Lake County Health Department, also said at a news conference that the victim had an underlying health condition. Zika contributed to the patient's death, Vitek added, but officials do not know if it was the sole cause.

The county health department only learned of the Zika-related death when it reviewed death certificates, Executive Director Gary Edwards said at the news conference. Officials declined to say where the victim had traveled, citing privacy regulations.

Vitek said Utah does not have the kind of mosquitos that transmit Zika.

The spread of Zika across more than 50 countries has caused significant concern, particularly in places such as Brazil, where it has been linked to microcephaly, or abnormally small heads, in infants.

Paulo Whitaker / Reuters

Therapist Rozely Fontoura holds Juan Pedro, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil, on March 26.

More than 1,000 Americans from the continental U.S. have contracted the disease — which is most often accompanied by only mild symptoms — while traveling, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Another 14 have become infected after having sex with people who had Zika.

However, as of July 6, in all U.S. states no one has contracted Zika from local mosquitos, the CDC reported.

There have, however, been 2,526 cases of locally contracted Zika in U.S. territories, the vast majority of them in Puerto Rico.

In May, a Puerto Rican man in his 70s died after becoming infected with Zika, and last month officials estimated that as much as 25% of the island's population could ultimately become infected.

During Friday's news conference, Vitek urged people traveling to affected areas to take preventive measures.

"Go to travel clinic," she said, "learn about Zika, and make sure that you prevent the mosquito bite."

Watch Friday's news conference here:

Facebook: video.php

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.