Cholera in Dominican Republic

by Wayne Ghesquiere on December 9, 2010

Travel Health Notice

The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with the neighbouring country of Haiti. Haiti has been experiencing an outbreak of cholera. There are confirmed cases of cholera in Dominican Republic. In response, the government of Dominican Republic has a national plan aimed at preventing and controlling cholera outbreak in the country. This response includes enhancing surveillance, water and sanitation services and education. They are also focussing on prompt and appropriate care for those who become infected. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) recommends practising safe food and water precautions while in the Dominican Republic and advises speaking with a health care provider about cholera vaccine prior to travel. Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. People usually become infected from drinking or eating contaminated water or food. It is associated with watery diarrhea and rapid dehydration, which may be life-threatening.

Recommendations

Consult a doctor, nurse or health care provider, or visit a travel health clinic at least six weeks before you travel.
  1. Practise safe food and water precautions
  2. Consider getting vaccinated
    1. Most travellers are at low risk. Travellers at high risk for cholera(travellers visiting areas of high risk with limited access to clean water and food) may benefit from vaccination and should consult with a health care provider to discuss this option.
  3. If you develop severe diarrhea and/or vomiting when you return to Canada
    1. Infants, young children and the elderly and those with underlying health conditions are at greatest risk of dehydration.
    2. Seek medical attention immediately.
    3. Drink fluids and use oral rehydration salts to prevent dehydration.

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