2 female Pennsylvania residents test positive for Zika virus

The Associated Press

HARRISBURG — Two female Pennsylvania residents tested positive for the Zika virus, however they are mild cases and the public is not as risk, Pennsylvania health authorities said on Tuesday.

This 2006 photo provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows a female Aedes aegypti mosquito in the process of acquiring a blood meal from a human host. Scientists believe the species originated in Africa but came to the Americas on slave ships. It has continued to spread through shipping and airplanes. Now it's found through much of the world. (James Gathany/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention via AP)

The two had recently traveled outside the U.S. to places affected by the ongoing outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus, said the Pennsylvania Department of Health.

Authorities said the two had fevers and a rash.

Citing privacy concerns, officials provided no other details about the patients, including whether they were pregnant or where they live.

Health Secretary Karen Murphy told reporters her agency was looking ahead to warmer weather, when mosquitoes will be active. The virus is primarily spread through bites from a specific mosquito.

“We’re committed to protecting the health of Pennsylvanians and we will be sharing with you what our plans are,” Murphy said.

She said the two positive cases are among at least 21 tests from Pennsylvania that have been handled by a federal laboratory.

Many who are infected with the Zika virus do not get sick.

Medical authorities say most people recover in about a week from symptoms — fever, rash and joint pain — but health officials are investigating whether there is a link between Zika infections in pregnant women and a rare birth defect called microcephaly, in which babies are born with abnormally small heads.