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Health Information for Dominican Republic

Important Health Updates:
Click here for the latest information and opinions on the Cholera situation in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Many Debbie’s users who plan to travel to the Dominican Republic asked me about the risks of contracting Cholera. Although there are cases of Cholera reported in the Dominican Republic, there is no need to worry as long you use your common sense. The disease is not likely to spread directly from one person to another; therefore, casual contact with an infected person is not a risk for becoming ill.
Drink only bottled water and wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner (with at least 60% alcohol) when travelling to places with inadequate water treatment, poor sanitation and inadequate hygiene.
In case you should develop severe diarrhea and vomiting you should seek medical attention no matter where you are travelling to in the world.
Cholera can be simply and successfully treated by immediate replacement of the fluid and salts lost through diarrhea. Antibiotics shorten the course and diminish the severity of the illness, but they are not as important as receiving rehydration.
I haven’t come across one major health agency that has recommended vaccination against Cholera or has advised to avoid travelling to the Dominican Republic.

Although there are no mandatory vaccinations/medications for traveling to the Dominican Republic, you may be advised to get vaccinations and medications for vaccine-preventable diseases and other diseases you might be at risk for - Your health-care provider will determine what you will need, based on your health and immunization history, the area of the country you will be visiting, and planned activities. See your health practitioner well in advance of your trip to allow time for any required vaccinations and/or medications to take effect. It is recommended that routine vaccines, such as for influenza, chickenpox, polio, measles/mumps/rubella (MMR), and diphtheria/pertussis/tetanus (DPT) be up-to-date. (even if you do not travel). Hepatitis A/B vaccine may also be recommended. Malaria is endemic to certain areas of the Dominican Republic, including some tourist areas. Anti-malarial drugs are available and the decision on whether to take anti-malarial drugs should be made with your health practitioner. For more information on recommended vaccinations/medications, visit the following websites: - Public Health Agency of Canada, or - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

In the event that you develop a fever or otherwise feel unwell after returning home, seek medical advice and mention where you have been. Be sure to take an adequate supply of all prescription drugs you require with you in your carry-on luggage. You should also take any over-the-counter meds you think you might need with you as well, as they can be expensive to purchase in the Dominican Republic – ie. immodium, Tylenol, antibiotic ointment, insect repellent, etc. And very important - make sure that you have medical insurance that covers you should you require medical treatment while you are in the Dominican Republic.

Tips for safe eating and drinking:

1. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an antibacterial gel.
2. Drink only bottled or purified water.
3. Do not drink the tap water in your hotel room – bottled or purified water will be available.
4. Make sure food is fully cooked, if it looks raw, don’t eat it.

The following information is based on our experiences as Canadians taking an all-inclusive tour package (air, transfers, hotel) to the Dominican Republic.


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