Accessibility links

Breaking News

Cuba Reports First Zika Case

Cuba says it has detected the first case of Zika virus on the island.

Health ministry officials say that a 28-year-old Venezuelan medical student is under quarantine at a hospital in the capital, Havana.

Officials say the student arrived in Cuba on February 21 and reported a fever shortly after. She was diagnosed with Zika on Monday.

A statement says her husband contracted Zika two months ago and that her brother had come down with symptoms shortly before her trip.

Health officials say they are monitoring other medical students who also reported symptoms.

The World Health Organization has warned that the mosquito-borne virus is spreading rapidly through the Americas and could affect as many as four million people.

The WHO says people with the Zika virus have a mild fever, skin rash and conjunctivitis (red eye) with symptoms lasting between two to seven days. The best prevention against Zika virus, experts say, is protection against mosquito bites as no vaccine or treatment is available.

Cuban President Raul Castro has said some 9,000 soldiers will be sent around the country to spray for insects.

Zika virus has been tentatively linked to 4,000 suspected cases of microcephaly in Brazil, a condition that results in abnormally small heads and brains in newborns. There is no treatment for microcephaly.