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General precautions to avoid Dengue and Malaria

Dengue fever also known as breakbone fever, is an infectious tropical disease caused by the dengue virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and joint pains, and a characteristic morbilliform skin rash. In a small proportion of cases the disease develops to the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever (bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage) and dengue shock syndrome (circulatory failure).

Dengue is transmitted by several species of mosquito. The virus exists in four different types; infection with one type usually gives lifelong immunity to that type, but only short-term immunity to the others. Subsequent infection with a different type is believed to increase the risk of severe complications. As there is no vaccine, prevention is sought by reducing the habitat and the number of mosquitoes and limiting exposure to bites.

Treatment of acute dengue is supportive, using either oral or intravenous rehydration for mild or moderate disease, and intravenous fluids and blood transfusion for more severe cases.

Precations: The bites only happen to about 100 tourists a year in Dominican Republic. The resorts usually spray for mosquitoes often so there are little to none to be seen. The country also sprays to rid the island of these nasty little creatures. Just use some DEET type of bug spray. A fan usually helps keep them away as their light weight bodies can’t fly into the wind. They are more prevalent in areas where there is standing water. Do not leave water in containers outside.

Malaria is a serious and occasionally fatal disease. It is caused by a parasite which is spread to humans by infected mosquitoes. There is no vaccine available against malaria. People with malaria often experience fever, chills, and flu-like illness. Left untreated, they may develop severe complications and die.

There are occasional reports of cases of malaria in areas frequented by U.S. and European tourists including La Altagracia Province, the easternmost province in which many beach resorts are located. Malaria risk is significantly higher for travelers who go on some of the excursions to the countryside, or visit relatives in a country side.

Malaria can be cured with prescription drugs. The type of drugs and length of treatment depend on which kind of malaria is diagnosed, where the patient was infected, the age of the patient, and how severely ill the patient was at start of treatment.

Taking Anti-Malaria Tablets

It should be noted that no prophylactic regimen is 100% effective and advice on malaria prophylaxis changes frequently. There are currently five prophylactic regimens used (A,B,C,D & E), due to the differing resistance that exists by the malaria parasites to the various drugs used.

Start taking the tablets before travel, take them absolutely regularly during your stay, preferably with or after a meal and continue to take them after you have returned. This is extremely important to cover the incubation period of the disease. Read more about malaria here

For the Dominican republic it is not neccesary to take preventitive anti-malaria drugs, especially for chidren, as the drugs may have many side effects. Since the occasion of malaria doesn’t happen often over here, in case if you happen to fall sick with malaria, then within first 72 hours you can take a prescribed drug to start curing yourself, for this you need to establish a case of malaria by a doctor.

As much as there has been many cases accross the country, then it is far between hearing of anyone you know that got Dengue or Malaria.

General precausions include ensuring that there’s no still standing water around where you live I.e. Buckets, containers etc… and should you live somewhere where they are proned to be, wear clothes with long sleeves in the evening time, use fans and conditioners in a room, then use DEET repelent and keep mosquito screens closed during hour when they typically come out I.e. Night time, note that dengue mosquitoes typically bite during day time.

Category: DR Living |

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Last updated October 24, 2016 at 6:05 PM
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