A baby born with brain damage in Hawaii has tested positive for the rare mosquito-borne Zika virus, US health officials have confirmed.

It is understood that it is the first case of the virus in a birth on US soil.

It has been linked to serious birth defects.

Concerns about the disaese led the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to issue a travel warning advising women to postpone their visits to 14 countries and territories in the Caribbean and Latin America where infection with Zika is a risk

Doctors at the Oahu hospital tested the baby for the virus after it was found to be suffering from microcephaly, a rare condition in which newborns have smaller than normal heads, the Hawaii State Department of Health said.

The condition prevents babies’ brains from developing properly.

It is thought the mother became infected with the virus while in Brazil in May 2015.

Six people have so far tested positive for the virus in Hawaii, although all are understood to have been infected outside the US.

Health officials have stressed that neither the mother nor baby are infectious and there is no risk of transmission in the state.

“There’s no indication at this point that there’s any Zika virus circulating in Hawaii,” CDC spokesman Tom Skinner told Reuters.

“But I think its important for us to understand that there are going to be imported cases of Zika to the United States and we won’t be surprised if we start to see some local transmission of the virus,” Mr Skinner said.

The travel alert applies to Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

The CDC warned pregnant women in particular not to travel to those areas.

It also cautioned women who are trying to conceive to consult a doctor before travelling to those areas.

Common symptoms can last up to a week and include fever, rash, joint pain and conjunctivitis.

There is no preventive vaccine or treatment.