1st Death Related to Zika Reported in Continental US An elderly Utah resident contracted the virus while traveling By Newser Editors and Wire Services Posted Jul 8, 2016 6:55 PM CDT 7 comments Comments Samples of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, responsible for transmitting Zika. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana, File) (Newser) – Utah health officials say a person infected with Zika has died, and while the exact cause is unclear, it marks the first death related to the virus in the continental US, the AP reports. Authorities say the unidentified Salt Lake County resident traveled abroad to an area with a Zika outbreak. The elderly person who died in late June also had another unidentified health condition. The Zika virus causes only a mild illness, at worst, in most people, but infection during pregnancy can lead to severe birth defects. It's spread mainly through the bite of a tropical mosquito. The CDC says no cases of locally transmitted, mosquito-borne Zika have been reported in the continental US.