The United States used the dengue virus as a tool of bio-warfare against Cuba in 1971, alleged Dr Aramis Martinez while addressing a meeting of Dengue Research Group at the Punjab University.
Dr Martinez hails from Cuba and the vector borne disease central consultant is currently the programme coordinator of the Zambian National Larviciding. “Cuba controlled the dengue fever through vector control, larvae control, community involvement and case management,” he held.
Dr Martinez suggested entomologists and other experts should collectively work to fight the disease. “The government is responsible only for providing resources, while the private sector is primarily responsible for moving forward and collaborating in controlling the disease,” he added.
Dr Martinez further said Pakistani experts should be well aware of the habits of the dengue mosquito. “In 2006, the dengue mosquito in Cuba changed its habits and breeding sites,” said the Cuban expert.
Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, the meeting’s chair, clarified that the United States tested viruses not only in Cuba and other countries but also on its own population.
Jorge Luis Martinez from Cuba, PU Registrar Prof Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir, Zoology Department Chairman Dr Muhammad Akhtar, Dengue Research Group Chairman Dr Saeed Akhtar, and heads and members of different sub-groups also participated in the meeting.