Utah woman is 1st confirmed Zika-related death in continental US

A Utah woman has died after becoming infected with the Zika virus, the Salt Lake County Health Department announced Friday.

The elderly woman had an underlying health condition and had traveled to areas with mosquitoes known to spread the Zika virus.

“While this individual did test positive for Zika virus, the exact cause of death has not been determined, and it may not be possible to determine how the Zika infection contributed to the death. Due to health privacy laws, health officials will not release further details about the individual or the individual’s travel history,” the Salt Lake County Health Department said on its website.

The woman died in late June. This is the first confirmed Zika-related death in the continental United States.

The Salt Lake County Health Department said in its statement that there is no threat of Zika virus infection in the area.

“The exotic mosquito species [Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus] capable of transmitting Zika virus are not found along the Wasatch Front,” said Dr. Ari Faraji, manager of the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District. “In fact, so far this season, we have not detected those two species anywhere in Utah.”

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