); Cuba stops Zika virus from spreading into the island | Visit Cuba

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Cuba stops Zika virus from spreading into the island

By Samuel Rivas / Posted March 26, 2016

Cuban Health Care System strategy stops Sika virus from spreading into the island, when identified the first imported case of sick person in a quarantine facility in Artemisa province.

The media in the island announced the news this Wednesday, and the diagnosis was made three days before, on February 29th. The person infected is a 28 year old Venezuelan doctor, who presented the symptoms and was immediately hospitalized at the Instituto de Medicina Tropical Pedro Kourí, where she is still receiving assistance. The rest of the doctors who traveled to Cuba are symptomless, and remain at the student´s residency for the epidemiologic vigilance and international health inspection.

The government has reinforced the measures at the point of entrance to the island, since the Zika virus is affecting 32 countries of this part of the world according to the World Health Organization, which declared the situation a sanitary emergency. Thus far, this is the first imported Zika case detected in the island, though all non-specific fever syndromes are being followed and studied to early identify its presence, while international sanitary control is being intensified.

The Cuban president, Raul Castro, said in a public message that in case of finding any sick person there are all necessary conditions in the country for qualified medical assistance.

Cuban Health minister launched in Havana a plan of action and an intensive campaign to prevent and face Zika, Dengue, Chikungunya and Yellow Fever.

In Cuba there are no other cases of Zika, Chikungunya, or Yellow Fever, said the minister, but he admitted that 55 Cuban municipalities report high mosquito infestation. In this regard, the Health minister stressed the participation of Cuba troops and police in support of the campaign against the Aedes mosquito, the carrier of this virus.

As part of the program, the minister announced educative meetings at community level with the support of grassroots organizations to inform the people about the appropriate measures to take in terms of sanitation and eliminating possible mosquito breeding spots. The government also reinforced the attention to areas of residence of foreign persons visiting or living in the island, in order to protect them and give a fast response in the case of some event.

So, up to the present, Cuba seems to be one of the few countries in the area which is still safe from this virus, and its system is working so far. The report of the imported case of Zika contrast with the absence of the disease in the national population.

If you plan to visit Cuba, bring a good bug repellant and adhere to the sanitary recommendations given by the authorities.

For information on the Zika virus visit http://www.cdc.gov/zika/

Samuel Rivas

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