US woman tests positive for Zika after travelling from Guyana

Last Updated on Monday, 15 February 2016, 15:47 by Denis Chabrol

[Columbus Dispatch] – Two more cases of the Zika virus have been reported in Ohio, one involving a Licking County man who was in Haiti while another involves a woman that travelled from Guyana.

That brings to four the number of cases reported by the Ohio Department of Health in the past week. None was contracted in Ohio.

The newest cases of the virus were detected in a 56-year-old Butler County woman returning from Guyana, and the Licking County man, who is 60.

The Zika virus is transmitted by infected mosquitoes and could possibly be passed by sexual partners. Most people won't experience the disease's mild symptoms, which include rash and joint pain, but health officials are worried about a possible link between Zika infections in pregnant women and severe birth defects.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta have recommended that pregnant women and women trying to get pregnant postpone travel to areas with active Zika virus transmission, including the Caribbean, Central America and South America. Men who have traveled to those areas are advised to abstain from sex or use a condom with a pregnant partner.

Though there are no known cases of Zika being transmitted by mosquito in the continental United States, the number of infected Americans continues to grow. Prior to Ohio's new cases, the CDC had reported 52 travel-associated cases of Zika virus in 16 states and the District of Columbia, an increase from 35 cases in 12 states since Tuesday.