Public health

Zika control, the Ugandan way

Print edition : November 25, 2016

The Zika virus was first identified, in 1947, in the blood sample of a rhesus monkey in the Zika forest of Uganda. The forest, now owned by the Uganda Virus Research Institute, has for decades been at the centre of a massive project to study viruses and the mosquitoes that carry them. Here, a caretaker and tour guide posing in the forest. Photo: Stephen Wandera/AP

Angelica Pereira with her daughter, Luiza, who was born with microcephaly because of the Zika virus, and her husband at their home in Santa Cruz do Capibaribe, Pernambuco State, Brazil. A December 23, 2015, photograph. Photo: Felipe Dana/AP

A pest control worker fumigating drains and gardens at a housing estate in Singapore where Zika infections were reported from, in September 2016. Photo: Wong Maye-E/AP

Thailand confirmed two cases of microcephaly caused by the Zika virus in September 2016. Here, a city worker fumigating the area in Bangkok from where the cases were reported. Photo: Athit Perawongmetha /Reuters

Uganda’s success in containing the Zika outbreak is the product of a long history of cutting-edge infectious disease research that resulted in the discovery of dozens of diseases and the establishment of a virus surveillance system to curb potential epidemics.
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