A Zika-related fatality in the US could possibly have transmitted the virus through sweat or tears. Researchers from the University of Utah School of Medicine and Associated Regional and University Pathologists, Inc. Laboratories have recently published their recent study.
Their findings are published in The New England Journal of Medicine. Apparently, the second patient had contracted the virus after visiting the 73-year-old man.
The Zika-Virus Transmission
The man who died of the virus had traveled to Zika-infected southwest Mexico. Symptoms began to show eight days after his return to the US. He suffered from abdominal pain and fever. According to Fox 13 Now, he had inflamed watery eyes along with low blood pressure and a rapid heart rate. This was by the time he was admitted to the University of Utah Hospital.
The second patient reported that he wiped away the man's tears during his visit. He also helped to reposition him in the hospital bed.
Eventually, the man died from kidney and respiratory failure. It is very unusual for an adult to die of Zika. The researchers said that symptoms are typically mild in adults.
According to NBC News, tests showed that he had an extraordinary amount of the virus in his blood. Chief of Infectious Disease and Doctor Sankar Swaminathan said it was 100,000 times higher than the usual. That much virus could have overwhelmed his system. It made him extremely infectious.
The factors that had contributed to his severe infection is still unknown. It was also unclear how the virus was transmitted to the second patient.
The Second Patient Had Zika
Swaminathan noticed common symptoms of Zika in the second patient. This is a week after the first patient's death. He had red and watery eyes. They were able to confirm that he had Zika.
However, he only had mild symptoms compared to the first patient. They were able to resolve it the following week.
They found out that he had not traveled to any Zika-infected area. Marc Couturier, Ph.D., explains that the virus can potentially spread without sexual contact or mosquito vector. He added that the case will force the medical community to re-evaluate processes in Zika testing.