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May 20, 2016 9:52 AM EDT

The strain of the Zika Virus raging in South America that has been linked to birth defects has been confirmed in Africa for the first time, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday.

Researchers sequenced the virus from a sample from Cape Verde, Reuters reports. Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO Africa director, said she does not recommend travel restrictions as a means of stemming the spread of the disease.

“The findings are of concern because it is further proof that the outbreak is spreading beyond South America and is on the doorstep of Africa,” said Moeti.

This strain of Zika has been linked to neurological problems and babies being born with microcephaly, but the virus as it originated in Africa has not been known to cause the defects.


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