What is going on in the Dominican Republic?

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

While it is scary when you hear of any death, deaths of multiple travelers mostly in their hotel and on vacation raises alarm for tourists.

There have been dozen deaths of tourist in Dominican Republic and as a result some tourists have started changing their plans. Question is should you.

Let's put the situation in a perspective. Dr. Sohail of Mayo Clinic has analyzed the results and according to him 6 of the deaths in Dominican Republic are reportedly due to cardiovascular diseases. Other 4 are reportedly due to infections.

Overall, it's not an overwhelming amount of health events, and not linked to a particular cause.

The key thing for travelers is to make sure that they have travel health insurance, take their medications with them, seek emergency care if they develop new symptoms.

Those with heart conditions should probably see their doctor in US before traveling abroad to make sure they are fit to travel.

Also, travelers on vacation tend to eat and drink more and have to be cognizant of risk of intoxication coupled with traveling in a foreign country, their limited healthcare system, less than ideal sanitary condition, and higher risk of food borne illnesses.

Overall, US state department does not seem to think that death rates in travelers in Dominican Republic are alarming, as yet.

Dr. Sohail's advice to traveling public :

"Overall, travelers should make sure they are up to date with their vaccinations. Those with pre-existing medical conditions should visit their doctors to make sure they are fit to travel. It's always a good idea to check CDC website (or travel app such as MyTravelHealth app) to find out specific travel risks at destination. Avoid eating food from street vendors. Travelers with medical conditions should also have travel health insurance. Getting seen at a travel clinic before you leave, if visiting a developing country, is always a good idea. Travelers may need vaccines for Yellow Fever, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Rabies, Polio, MMR, or Japanese encephalitis - based on itinerary - or even sometimes medicine for malaria prevention or antibiotic for travelers diarrhea treatment.

If travelers develop new symptoms while on travel, they should seek medical care rather than self treating or waiting as symptoms get worse."

Bottom line - do not change your plans, take the right precautious.

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