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Cuba Announces First Case of Zika, Imported From Venezuela

By on March 2, 2016

 

HAVANA – Cuba says it has detected the first case of the Zika virus on the island, which had been one of the last nations in the Western Hemisphere free of the disease.

A soldier carrying a fumigating machine enters a home as residents wait outside in Havana, Cuba, Monday, Feb. 22, 2016. Cuban President Raul Castro announced Monday that he is dispatching soldiers to help keep the Zika virus out of Cuba, calling on the entire country to help kill the mosquito that carries the disease. Castro says Cuba has yet to report a case of Zika. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

A soldier carrying a fumigating machine enters a home as residents wait outside in Havana, Cuba. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

The Ministry of Health said in state media Wednesday that a 28-year-old Venezuelan medical student arrived in the country Feb. 21 and a day later came down with a high fever and rash. The government says the woman was under medical quarantine along with other newly arrived medical students when her symptoms were detected.

An initial test for Zika was negative but a second test on Feb. 28 was positive, health officials said.

President Raul Castro announced Feb. 22 that the country was militarizing its fight to kill disease-carrying mosquitoes, assigning 9,000 soldiers to spray for the insects nation wide.

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