A 38-year-old man in Salt Lake City appears to have contracted Zika while caring for an elderly man who died from complications related to Zika infection, according to a report in the New England Journal of Medicine.
The younger man came into direct contact with the older man’s tears and sweat while taking care of him, and that appears to be the way he contracted Zika, doctors at the University of Utah School of Medicine wrote in the journal.
The 73-year-old man had recently returned from a three-week trip to the southwest coast of Mexico, where he had been bitten by mosquitoes. Soon after returning to Utah, he reported Zika-like symptoms, including abdominal pain, sore throat, fever, red eyes and diarrhea. He eventually was hospitalized due to dangerously low blood pressure, labored breathing and an abnormally fast heart rate.
The man’s condition declined while in the hospital, and he suffered respiratory and kidney failure. He died on day four of hospitalization, after care was withdrawn, the doctors wrote.
The younger man had helped reposition the older man in his sick bed, and had wiped the man’s eyes without using gloves, the doctors said.
The older man’s death from Zika is rare. Up to now, only nine deaths directly caused by Zika infection have been confirmed in adults, the doctors noted in their letter.
Share this Post