KAMPALA, Uganda (AP) — Ugandan researchers say the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus is not considered a threat in the African country where it was first discovered in a monkey in 1947.
Julius Lutwama, a virologist with the Uganda Virus Research Institute who has long investigated Zika, said Wednesday there has never been a known outbreak in Uganda though a few samples have tested positive over the years.
He said Zika is “not a very important disease” on a continent where malaria, also transmitted by mosquitoes, is the major killer.
Zika virus is named for a forest just outside Uganda’s capital, Kampala, where it was first identified.
Zika is suspected in a surge of birth defects in Brazil, where infections were first identified last year.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.