Via NBC News, Maggie Fox has a big story: Zika Virus Patient Who Died in Utah Infected. Excerpt:
An elderly patient who died with a Zika virus infection in Utah infected another person and doctors said Monday they are not sure how it happened.
Zika's normally transmitted by mosquitoes and it can also be transmitted sexually. But neither appears to have been the case in Utah, officials in Salt Lake City said.
They're not releasing very much information to protect the privacy of the patient and family, only identifying the new case as a "family contact." But it's another new twist in an epidemic that seems to be flummoxing medical experts over and over.
"The new case in Utah is a surprise, showing that we still have more to learn about Zika," said Dr. Erin Staples, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention epidemiologist who's helping in the investigation.
"Fortunately, the patient recovered quickly, and from what we have seen with more than 1,300 travel-associated cases of Zika in the continental United States and Hawaii, non-sexual spread from one person to another does not appear to be common."
The first patient's death was reported July 8 and it was the first Zika-related death in the continental U.S. An elderly man died from a Zika infection in Puerto Rico in April.
"The new case is a family contact who helped care for the individual who died from unknown causes and who had been infected with Zika after traveling to an area with Zika," the Salt Lake County Department of Health said in a statement.
"We do believe this is a unique situation," said Dr. Angela Dunn, deputy state epidemiologist at the Utah Department of Health.
The patient had an unusually high level of Zika virus in his blood, Dunn told a news conference.
"The deceased patient had traveled to an area with Zika and lab tests showed he had uniquely high amounts of virus—more than 100,000 times higher than seen in other samples of infected people—in his blood," the CDC added.
Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary has also posted on this development.