Fifteen people have been tested for Zika virus so far in South Carolina, state health officials said Friday.
Eleven tests have come back negative and results are still pending for the others, said Robert Yannity, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
The state began testing for the virus in-house on Thursday, he said. Results for the four pending tests should be in early next week.
"As of today, we have no confirmed cases of Zika in South Carolina," he said, noting all had traveled to countries where Zika virus widespread, which includes Central and South America and the Caribbean.
Beginning this week, testing for the virus has been done in state labs as opposed to at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, he said. That reduces turn-around time to two or three business days instead of up to 14 days, he said.
Zika virus is spread by mosquitoes.
There have been no cases of transmission from mosquitoes in the continental United States, but 52 cases have been confirmed among returning travelers as of Feb. 10, CDC reports.
And CDC on Friday confirmed that 27 cases of Zika have been confirmed to have been contracted from mosquitoes in Puerto Rico.
The first cases were reported in Brazil in May 2015.
Symptoms include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis which can last from two to seven days.
But only about one in five people who are infected will get sick, and because the illness is usually mild, many people may never know they have it, according to CDC.
Infected pregnant women pose the greatest concern because they may possibly give birth to babies with microcephaly, a serious birth defect resulting in a small head and developmental disabilities. Other poor birth outcomes also are possible, CDC reports.
Since there is no vaccine or treatment specific to Zika virus, CDC says it’s best to take precautions against being bitten. And CDC says pregnant women should postpone travel to any area where the virus is being transmitted.