Florida student infected with Zika virus speaks about experience


MIAMI – While on a medical mission in his native Haiti last November, Christophe De Lespinasse, 27, says he got the worst headache ever.

De Lespinasse then developed a rash saying, "I thought to myself well it's some kind of virus. But I wasn't too worried. But when the rash spread all around my upper body then I said, well, it's not your typical viral illness."

Besides the spreading rash and headache, the first-year Florida International University med student says he ran a fever and felt weak.

By January, Miami health officials were warning about the Zika outbreak which scientists suspect is linked to microcephaly, a birth defect that causes small heads and brain damage in babies.

"To me it's just heartbreaking. For mothers who are pregnant it must be terrifying to have that possibility," said De Lespinasse.

Health officials say just one in five people infected have severe symptoms and rarely need hospitalization.

After his diagnosis, De Lespinasse was later given a clean bill of health.

He says he and other FIU med students are going on another mission to Haiti in March to help educate about the Zika virus.

So far at least 20 cases of Zika have been confirmed in Florida.