Doctors detail skin rash on Miami’s first pregnant woman with Zika

Doctors detail skin rash on Miami’s first pregnant woman with Zika

A multi-disciplinary team of physicians from the University of Miami Health System and Jackson Health has released a case study detailing the nation's first locally transmitted case of Zika in a local pregnant woman.

The experts described a skin rash that first appeared on the 23-year-old Miami-Dade woman's body parts like chest, arms, palms, legs and soles. The rash was preceded by fever and followed by joint pain. The illness ultimately prompted the young woman to seek medical help in July last year when she was 23-week pregnant.

Dr. Lucy Chen, a dermatologist who led the study, cautioned that Zika patients do not always get a skin rash. Thus, the opportunity to follow the patient and report on symptoms allows doctors as well as others to recognize what a Zika rash might look like.

Sharing the findings of their study, Dr. Chen said, "We wanted to share our findings because a rash from Zika is not particularly identifiable. This puts an image in people's minds."

Health experts are particularly concerned about pregnant women contracting Zika virus, as it can cause a devastating neurological condition called microcephaly, which causes babies to be born with smaller-than-normal heads as well as incomplete brain development.

The case study was detailed in the Wednesday, Jan. 11th, edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.