By Amy Orciari Herman, Edited by Susan Sadoughi, MD, and André Sofair, MD, MPH

Puerto Rico has reported its first case of Zika virus, according to CBS News. The mosquito-borne

virus has received widespread media attention recently owing to an outbreak in Brazil and a potential link to a spike in microcephaly cases seen there.

The patient in Puerto Rico had not traveled recently.

In Brazil, an estimated 44,000 to 1.3 million people have contracted the Zika virus since May 2015. In addition, the country saw more than 2700 cases of microcephaly in newborns in 2015 — a sharp increase from fewer than 150 cases in 2014. A prominent Brazilian health official said in a news conference, “there is no doubt that the majority of the microcephaly cases [in Brazil] are related to the Zika virus.” International experts, however, remain cautious, maintaining that the association between maternal Zika infection and microcephaly is still under investigation.

Zika has been reported across the Americas, from Chile to Mexico; thus far, only Brazil has observed a potential association with  microcephaly.

Common symptoms of Zika infection include fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis.


It is critical to track this virus, and to develop a vaccine ASAP (not just when it makes it into the States). Microcephaly on this scale with no way to prevent it is frightening. It might be that the colder weather in the US will hold such a virus at bay. But summer comes eventually.


CBS News story (Free)

CDC website on Zika virus (Free)

Background: Physician’s First Watch coverage of microcephaly increase in Brazil (Free)