Researchers from the Uganda Virus Research Institute have discovered a new virus among patients that had previously reported to hospital with signs of fever, but never got any improvement even after intense treatment to manage the fever.
Because it is a new strain of virus, it has been named after the village where these patients hail from.
Kaleebu said, the researchers after failing to match the virus with any known virus named it Adumi virus. Adumi is a sub county in Arua town bordering Congo and a home to over 36,000 people according to statistics from Uganda Bureau Of Standard.
Speaking to NBS TV, the Director Uganda Virus Research Institute Prof. Pontiano Kaleebu intimated that the virus was found in a female patient who had spent months with fever but never cured even after treatment.
“The virus was identified in a patient in Arua, she had on and off fevers that never responded to anti malarial drugs.”
The researchers have however not yet identified portable diseases that this virus Adumi could be causing.
“We are excited because we are about to know the diseases caused by this Adumi virus at least so far we know it brings fever because the patient had fever,” Kaleebu said.
He however notes that in partnership with Glasgow University, a team will be flagged off to Arua to further understand this Adumi virus.
“The team leaves next month, but it’s crucial that the country invests in technology if we are to go head on with global researchers on discovering such viruses,” he said
In the meantime, the institute has embarked on patenting the Adumi virus because it could be one of the countries break through on research.
“We are working with ministry of technology to cover issues of patent rights; this could help the institute reap a lot ,” he said.
In the past, Uganda lost rights to new of its primary virus discovery the Zika virus after scientists instead invested more in finding the cure and treatment than reaping from it