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I hate Mosquitoes


No one likes a mosquito bite, but when visiting foreign climates it can turn from a simple irritation into a serious problem. What should you know about this pest if you choose to visit the Dominican Republic? What can you do about some of the mosquito carried diseases?  more...


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No one likes a mosquito bite, but when visiting foreign climates it can turn from a simple irritation into a serious problem. What should you know about this pest if you choose to visit the Dominican Republic? What can you do about some of the mosquito carried diseases?

People react differently to mosquito bites and while some will just have the odd scratch others may find their whole trip is disrupted because of swollen legs and bites that have become sores. If you are aware that you are overly sensitive to bites, then bringing repellent is a must. Most people find that constantly stopping what they are doing to apply deet (the active ingredient in most repellents) is as irritating as the mosquitoes. That being said, knowing when to protect yourself can cut down on your usage.

Generally speaking you will not need to worry about protecting yourself from mosquitoes within the resorts as these are well fumigated to keep the numbers down. It is when you venture out into the city or go through some of the lesser well maintained barrios that you increase the risk of being bitten. The is due to the fact that most Dominicans do not have permanent running water and so have to store it in tanks, and it is these tanks that provide the breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Foreign or new blood is actively targeted by mosquitoes and you may find yourself in a room with various locals and find that you are the only one getting bit. Needless to say, if you plan to go into these areas then applying repellent before you go is the course of wisdom.

Most tourists fear being bitten while they are sleeping, and while this does happen it is much more important to be vigilant during the day - especially the late afternoon. This is because the Aedes mosquito, which transmits both dengue and chikungunya fever, is particularly active at this time of day. This smaller than average mosquito can be identified by the white spots it bears on its legs and abdomen and should be swatted on sight.

Dengue fever outbreaks occur in the Dominican Republic on a sporadic basis and are often played down by local officials not wanting to scare away the tourists. So how real is the threat? Dengue fever is very unpleasant with muscular aches and pain in the joints accompanying the high temperature. In some rare cases, however, the fever takes a dangerous turn causing haemorrhaging which and in extreme cases can cause death.

Recently, chikungunya fever has also been diagnosed, something that was previously unknown in the Dominican Republic. The symptoms are almost identical to dengue fever but there are two minor differences: the fever can last for a much longer time and can sometimes come back after several weeks when a patient may feel that he has already recovered. On the plus side, chikungunya is not life-threatening in all of but the most extreme of cases.

It should be stressed at this point that millions of tourists visit the Dominican Republic each year with only a tiny percentage coming across this type of problem.

If you develop any of the symptoms described above then get to see a doctor immediately. There have been some cases of misdiagnosis in regard to confusing dengue with chikungunya and vice versa, so make sure the doctor performs a blood test to be sure of the results.

Using repellent at the right time of day when outside of the resort is normally sufficient to avoid being infected. However, the best course of action is to make sure you have good travel insurance with good medical coverage, something that should always be purchased for a trip to the Caribbean.

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