One week after the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) declared a Zika public health emergency for the Commonwealth, health officials in Puerto Rico reported an additional 2,506 Zika virus cases, bringing the total to 13,186 cumulative confirmed cases since the virus arrived on the island.
Of the total cases this past week, seventy-one were in pregnant women, putting the total to over 1100.
Secretary of the Department of Health, Ana Armendariz Ríus also said, “In the report this week , one death was reported associated with Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). The individual was positive for Zika virus. the deceased was a male between the ages of 35 and 45 in the region of Metropolitan Health”.
There has been 34 GBS cases reported total linked to Zika infection.
Guillain-Barré syndrome is a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the peripheral nervous system. The first symptoms of this disorder include varying degrees of weakness or tingling sensations in the legs. In many instances the symmetrical weakness and abnormal sensations spread to the arms and upper body.
These symptoms can increase in intensity until certain muscles cannot be used at all and, when severe, the person is almost totally paralyzed. In these cases the disorder is life threatening – potentially interfering with breathing and, at times, with blood pressure or heart rate – and is considered a medical emergency.
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