"Cuba Reports Remarkable Success In Containing Zika Virus"

"HAVANA — Six months after President Raul Castro declared war on the Zika virus in Cuba, a militarized nationwide campaign of intensive mosquito spraying, monitoring and quarantine appears to be working.

Cuba is among the few countries in the Western Hemisphere that have so far prevented significant spread of the disease blamed for birth defects in thousands of children. Only three people have caught Zika in Cuba. Thirty have been diagnosed with cases of the virus they got outside the island, according to Cuban officials.

Many are now watching to see whether Cuba is able to maintain control of Zika or will drop its guard and see widening infection like so many of its neighbors. The battle against Zika is testing what Cuba calls a signal accomplishment of its single-party socialist revolution — a free health-care system that assigns a family doctor to every neighborhood, with a focus on preventive care and maternal and pediatric health. That system has come under strain in recent years as thousands of specialists emigrate to the U.S., Europe and South America for higher pay and the allied government of Venezuela reduces the flow of subsidized oil that has been keeping Cuba solvent."

Michael Weissenstein reports for the Associated Press September 2, 2016.

Source: AP, 09/02/2016