(SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico) -- As the Zika virus outbreak continues, including in wide swaths of Central and South America, concerns are growing, especially for pregnant women because the mosquito-borne virus has been linked with a serious birth defect called microcephaly, characterized by an abnormally small head and brain.
In Puerto Rico, a pregnant woman in her first trimester was diagnosed with the disease, health officials said. In addition, a man has also been diagnosed with Zika and has developed a rare paralysis syndrome sometimes associated with viral or bacterial infection.
Called Guillain-Barre syndrome, it is an immunological reaction that has been associated with influenza, among other illnesses.
At least 22 people have been reported to have been infected with the Zika virus in Puerto Rico, health officials said.
Meanwhile, in the U.S., there are at least 54 people infected with the virus. In all except one case, the infection was acquired while out of the country, according to health officials.
In one case in Dallas, Texas, the virus is believed to have been transmitted through sexual contact from an infected traveler to a partner.
Florida has the highest number of cases in the U.S., with 12 people infected. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in five counties and ordered thousands of tests that will help identify the disease.
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