2 additional travel-related Zika cases confirmed in Alabama

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Alabama Department of Public Health officials have confirmed two additional travel-related Zika cases in the state.

Officials said in an emailed release Friday that the number of confirmed cases is up to five. Officials say the two people who tested positive are from Houston and Jefferson counties.

Public health officials have said the virus primarily spreads through bites from infected Aedes species mosquitoes and can cause severe birth defects if infection occurs during pregnancy. Officials have said the virus can also be sexually transmitted or spread via blood transfusion.

State Health Officer Tom Miller says the department is launching "enhanced surveillance" efforts, which involves asking people who have tested positive for Zika to provide the names of people in their households and the names of their sexual partners.