Doctors Reveal Photos of Zika's Effects on 1st Person Infected in US

Doctors Reveal Photos of Zika's Effects on 1st Person Infected in US

The first person to be infected locally during Florida's Zika virus outbreak was nearly 5 months pregnant, according to a new case study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The case study reveals how doctors figured out that a 23-year-old pregnant woman was the first person in the continental U.S. to be infected with locally acquired Zika virus.

The unnamed patient appeared at a Miami hospital in July with a rash, sore throat and fever, according to the report. These symptoms were all signs of Zika infection. However, there had been no reported local spread of the virus at the time, and people in the U.S. with Zika infections were those who had traveled abroad or who had sexual contact with Zika-infected people.

Doctors Reveal Photos of Zika's Effects on 1st Person Infected in US

Dr. Lucky Chen, a dermatologist at Jackson Health System in Miami, treated the patient and said Zika was on everyone's mind, despite the fact that the patient hadn't traveled abroad to areas with high-levels of Zika transmission -- namely, Central and South America.

"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."

During an examination, doctors were particularly interested in the extensive rash that affected the woman's stomach, chest, back of her arms and legs.

"When we saw her, her rash was nonspecific. It just looked like pink bumps from head to toe," Chen said.

The doctors tested the woman for Zika virus in addition to a host of other viruses, such as mumps and measles. When doctors got her lab results, they found that she was the first person to have locally acquired Zika virus in the continental U.S.

The virus has been linked to a host of birth defects, most notably microcephaly. That birth defect is characterized by an abnormally small head and brain, which can lead to developmental delays.

While the patient tested positive for the virus, the doctors treating her found that the fetus did not show signs of microcephaly. The woman went on to give birth naturally late last year to an infant who showed no signs of birth defects and tested negative for the virus. Both mother and infant are being followed to determine if there are any lasting effects of the Zika virus.

Chen said she and her co-authors wrote the report to give people in the medical community a clearer picture of what a Zika rash can look like on a patient.

“Dermatologists and clinicians had an idea of what the Zika rash looked like, but it wasn’t until the patient presented here that we were able to get an up-close and personal look and photograph the skin,” Chen said in a statement today. “Any doctor now has a visual sense of the rash to properly diagnose and refer patients to the appropriate specialists.”

Florida ended up having three areas with ongoing Zika transmission during last year's outbreak. Since the outbreak was first reported, there have been 256 people infected with locally transmitted Zika in Florida, according to the state health department.

Last month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared the state free of locally transmitted Zika for the first time since July.



Add Comment

all comments

  Other news

more
Quick thinking theme park rescuers save falling US teenager

Quick thinking theme park rescuers save falling US teenager..

25-Jun, 15:27

Visitors to a New York theme park have dramatically rescued a terrified...

Bill Cosby tour 'not about sex assault'

Bill Cosby tour 'not about sex assault'..

26-Jun, 06:00

Bill Cosby's publicity team have denied reports that his upcoming...

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford celebrate 7th wedding anniversary

Eamonn Holmes and Ruth Langsford celebrate 7th wedding anniversary..

26-Jun, 08:12

by Ainhoa Barcelona Eamonn Holmes and wife Ruth Langsford celebrated...

North Carolina teen missing for a year found alive in Georgia

North Carolina teen missing for a year found alive in Georgia..

26-Jun, 09:00

A North Carolina teenager who went missing a year ago, was found alive in...

The Latest: Dreamer's lawyers call arrest 'bogus operation'

The Latest: Dreamer's lawyers call arrest 'bogus operation'..

16-Feb, 22:04

The Latest on a man who was detained by immigration agents despite his...

Media and internet company IAC is buying Angie's List

Media and internet company IAC is buying Angie's List..

01-May, 19:24

Media and internet company IAC/InterActiveCorp on Monday said it is...

Polish city Katowice to host 2018 UN climate change meeting

Polish city Katowice to host 2018 UN climate change meeting..

01-Jun, 09:21

The United Nations says that the Polish city of Katowice has been chosen...

Riot in Stockholm suburb after drug suspect is arrested

Riot in Stockholm suburb after drug suspect is arrested..

21-Feb, 07:36

Swedish police on Tuesday were investigating a riot that broke out...