Photos Of The First Person Infected Locally With Zika In The US Have Been Released
On Wednesday a case study published in The New England Journal revealed photos of the first person to be infected locally with Zika in the U.S. who was nearly five months pregnant.
The 23-year-old pregnant woman was the first to be infected during Florida’s Zika virus outbreak. The study reveals how doctors came to find out that she was infected.
In July the unnamed patient appeared in a Miami hospital with a rash, sore throat and fever, says the report, obtained by ABC News. At the time there had been no reports of the virus being locally spread, however, those symptoms are all signs of the Zika virus. The only people with Zika in the U.S. in July were those who had traveled abroad or who had sexual contact with Zika-infected people.
Dr. Lucy Chen is a dermatologist at Jackson Health System in Miami and treated the patient. She spoke to ABC News and said Zika was on everyone’s mind, despite the fact that the patient hadn’t traveled to areas with high levels of Zika transmission.
“When the patient came in, she was obviously very concerned about her pregnancy,” Chen told ABC News. “She had been following the news, and she had a fever and rash.”
Doctors were particularly interested in the rash that covered the woman’s stomach, chests arms and legs.
“When we saw her, her rash was nonspecific. It just looked like pink bumps from head to toe,” Chen said to ABC News.
The doctors tested the woman for Zika and lad results confirmed she had Zika. The virus is most known for its link to birth defects, mainly microcephaly, which is a birth defect that causes a child to have an abnormally small head and brain and can lead to developmental delays.
Upon treatment, doctors found that the fetus did not show signs of microcephaly. Late last year she went on to give birth naturally to an infant that showed no sign of birth defects and tested negative for the Zika virus.
The mother and infant are being followed to investigate whether there are any lasting effects of her Zika infection.
Since the first initial outbreak of the virus, 256 people were infected with locally transmitted Zika in Florida, said the state health department.
Last month Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared the state Zika free for the first time since July.