High rate of Cholera in Dominican Republic

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The Ministry of Health in Dominican Republic has reported 780 cases of cholera since January 2016, this is a significant increase over the average incidence of cholera since 2013.   There have been over 60 cases of cholera reported a month.

Cholera cases have primarily been reported in Santiago de los Caballeros and Cibao Norte Region.

What is cholera?

Cholera is acute infection of the intestine cause by bacteria,  The infection causes a diarrheal illness and can be mild or severe.   Symptoms include nausea, vomiting and profuse watery diarrhea; symptom onset is hours to 5 days post exposure. In severe cases, fatality’s do occur but are much less with treatment.  Cholera is rare in developed countries but is common in undeveloped countries due to poor sanitation.  The most common cause of cholera is contaminated food and water which can cause outbreaks.

Travellers are advised to practice diligent food and water safety precautions while travelling to risk areas and travel with oral re-hydration salts in cases of severe diarrhea.   In Canada there is a vaccine to help prevent traveler’s diarrhea caused by e-coli and cholera called Dukoral.  All Travellers are advised to seek travel health advice a minimum of 4-6 weeks before travel abroad to ensure they are aware and protected against health concerns.

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