Cuba Deploys Troops to Ward Off Zika

Cuba Deploys Troops to Ward Off ZikaCuba Deploys Troops to Ward Off Zika

President Raul Castro called on all Cubans to help eradicate the mosquitoes that carry the Zika virus on Monday and ordered 9,000 army troops to help stave off the disease.

Cuba has yet to detect a case of Zika, but the outbreak is affecting large parts of Latin America and the Caribbean and is likely to spread to all countries in the Americas except for Canada and Chile, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said, Reuters reported. “It’s necessary for every single Cuban to take up this battle as a personal matter,” Castro wrote in a national message sounding the alarm over Zika, which is carried by mosquitoes that transmit the virus to humans and which is suspected of causing birth defects after infecting pregnant women. Cubans should clean up potential environments for the Aedes genus of mosquitoes, said Castro, who also is head of the armed forces.

He ordered 9,000 active-duty officers and reserves plus 200 police officers to join the effort.

There is no vaccine or treatment for Zika.