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First US Zika death reported in Puerto Rico

First US Zika death reported in Puerto Rico
© Getty Images

The first U.S. death linked to the Zika virus, involving a man in Puerto Rico, was reported Friday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

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The agency said he developed severe thrombocytopenia, which is a low blood platelet count, but did not give more details. 

Deaths from Zika are rare, and health officials say symptoms tend to me mild. Many people develop no symptoms at all. 

The virus is mainly seen as a threat for pregnant women because it is linked to severe birth defects in babies. 

Puerto Rico is expected to be hit hard by the virus, while officials expect there will not be a widespread outbreak in the continental United States. Still, officials warn the virus is unpredictable.  

The first U.S. Zika fatality comes amid a heated fight in Washington over funding to fight the virus.

The Obama administration has requested nearly $2 billion in emergency funding, but Republicans have balked at that figure

Senators appeared to be close to a deal last week on some new funding, but hopes for an agreement have dropped.

Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad CochranWilliam (Thad) Thad CochranObama endorses Espy in Mississippi Senate race Espy wins Mississippi Senate Democratic primary Bottom Line MORE (R-Miss.) last week said he expected a Zika funding package soon.

But Sen. John CornynJohn CornynBiden pushes into Trump territory Cruz: Hunter Biden attacks don't move 'a single voter' Bloomberg spending millions on Biden push in Texas, Ohio MORE (Texas), the chamber's No. 2 Republican, spoke out on Thursday against giving a "blank check" to the administration without more accountability.

The White House has stepped up pressure on Republicans to act, with a host of federal health officials warning of a spike in Zika cases in the coming summer.