- Associated Press - Thursday, February 11, 2016

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals says two people from a group that recently returned from the Caribbean have tested positive for the Zika virus, and the state lab has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation tests.

Department spokesman Bob Johannessen says they’re Louisiana’s first “presumptive cases.”

He says the two who tested positive don’t need hospitalization, and other group members are being monitored.

Johannessen says nobody in the group was pregnant. Scientists are investigating whether the virus is linked to a rare birth defect.

State epidemiologist Dr. Raoult Ratard says Louisiana’s current weather and environmental conditions make it very unlikely that mosquitoes will spread the disease.

Johannessen says he cannot say what country the group visited, because that might identify the people.

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