A researcher looks at Aedes aegypti mosquitoes kept in a container at a lab of the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the Sao Paulo University, on January 8, 2016 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Researchers at the Pasteur Institute in Dakar, Senegal are  in Brazil to train local researchers to combat Zika virus epidemic.  AFP PHOTO / NELSON ALMEIDANELSON ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images
A researcher looks at Aedes aegypti mosquitoes, capable of spreading the Zika virus, at a lab in the Institute of Biomedical Sciences of the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Jan. 8, 2016.
Nelson Almeida—AFP/Getty Images
January 20, 2016 1:39 PM EST

New cases of the Zika virus, which is linked to birth defects, have been confirmed in Florida and Illinois, state officials said.

Two pregnant women in Illinois and three people in Florida were infected by the mosquito-borne virus while traveling outside of the country. Officials said they are monitoring both situations.

While Zika causes mild symptoms in most infected people, the virus can be particularly serious for pregnant women. Zika has been linked to a risk of the child being born with microcephaly, in which the babies have small heads and incomplete brain development. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has urged women traveling to areas where the virus is common, including South America, Latin America and the Caribbean, to take precautions.

Read More: 5 Things to Know About the Zika Virus

The Florida residents who were infected had all traveled to South America in December, with two Miami residents visiting Colombia and another traveling to Venezuela, according the Miami Herald.

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