Cuba Mobilises 9,000 Military To Fight Zika-bearing Mosquito

HAVANA, Feb 23 (BERNAMA-NNN-EFE)-- Cuba announced Monday a plan of action to deal with the Zika virus, dengue and Chikungunya, which includes mobilizing 9,000 members of the armed forces and 200 police officers to combat the mosquito that transmits these diseases.

In a statement published in official media, President Raul Castro urged Cubans to make the fight against the Aedes aegypti mosquito "a personal matter," and said the World Health Organization has declared the rapid spread of Zika in the Americas an international health emergency.

Though no cases of Zika have yet been detected in Cuba, Castro warned that factors do exist, such as poor environmental sanitation and adverse weather conditions, that "increase the risk of these diseases spreading."

"Up to now not one case has been detected in our country, though we're keeping watch and studying all the unspecified fever symptoms in order to identify its presence as quickly as possible, even as international sanitation control is being intensified. If a person is infected, all the conditions are in place to provide qualified medical attention," the president said.

Following the emergency stage of this plan, a "plan that is sustainable over time" will be launched, he said.