- Associated Press - Saturday, March 12, 2016

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Pregnant women in New York whose sexual partners have recently traveled to countries impacted by the Zika virus can now get free tests for the infection.

The state Department of Health made the change this month at the request of Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Authorities were already offering tests for pregnant women who had traveled to affected areas, or for anyone exhibiting signs of the virus.

So far, the state has found 40 cases of the mosquito-borne virus. It has been linked to serious birth defects.

The virus has been reported in South America, Mexico, the Caribbean and parts of Asia.

The broader tests come as researchers explore how the virus may be spread through unprotected sexual activity.

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