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Malaria risk in the DR???

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#1 jmb0902

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    Posted 01 February 2009 - 04:26 AM

    So after talking about doing our DW in the Dominican, my FH comes up with the CDC web site that says it is a risk area for malaria! This is exactly what the CDC traveler web site says:

    Malaria risk area in the Dominican Republic: Rural, with highest risk in provinces bordering Haiti. In addition, risk in all areas of La Altagracia Province, including resort areas.

    So I was thinking we'd be fine since we'd be in a resort... I'm WRONG apparently, because the La Altagracia province mentioned above is where PUNTA CANA is located! The suggestion by the CDC is of course to dose with chloroquine while visiting and see an MD who specializes in Travel Medicine. I wanted to see if any of you have found this, or have researched this at all? For those that have been, did you use prophylaxis or do anything differently? I'm not sure that the DR sounds too romantic anymore

    #2 shellb

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      Posted 01 February 2009 - 11:03 AM

      I think you are going to get differing answers from people. I've talked to 2 doctor's, my guests have talked to their doctors and we've also asked quite a few people we know that have been to PC and the answer always is diffferent depending on who you are talking to. One friend has been to PC 4 times and no shots or pills. Others say why knowingly expose yourself to a risk.

      CDC (US) & PHAC (Canada) both will err on the side of caution because there is a potential risk of exposure. My FI & I are choosing to do so as well and get the persciption from our doctor, who wants to end up with Malaria. To me it's worth the cost of a prescription to prevent a potential illness. We've also advised our guests and I would say 95% have gotten all shots and will be doing the Malaria pills.

      There are diseases you can pick up in any part of the world, not just DR (so don't let the risk of Malaria scare you). For example:
      * tick borne encephalitus in eastern Europe
      * monitoring for malaria in the Bahamas
      * water-borne diseases when swimming in rivers in Belize
      * Canadians are advised to be up to date on all their shots (tetanus, polio, diptherea, measles) before going to the US.

      My advice, be educated, talk to your health care professional and assess the risk from there. I would tell you guests to do the same.

      #3 Christinamaria22

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        Posted 01 February 2009 - 11:22 AM

        WOW... This is kind of a damper on things... I mean everyone knows where ever they may travel has risks of picking up a health issue but actually needing to take medication...

        How many people who have traveled to DR actually taken this medication?? Do you have to take this pill everyday that your at the DR??

        #4 cgf

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          Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:14 PM

          initially, when i first came across the info, i was a little disappointed....but i quickly got over it! no matter where you go, there's always something you need to watch out for.

          my hubby-to-be and i feel it's our responsibility to inform our guests (there are about 7 children ages 2-13 coming as well). on our website, we're planning to dedicate a page to medical requirements/recommendations. we will be providing our guests with the info, and advise that they consult their own healthcare professional, but in the end, getting the vaccination/pills is a decision that they will have to make.

          it's better to be safe than sorry...i don't think there's anything worse than being ill away from home, especially when it can be prevented.

          here's a small blurb on the Public Health Agency of Canada site (i'm a Toronto girl!) and if you want more info, here's the site:

          Reports of Malaria in the Dominican Republic: Travel Health Advisory: Travel Medicine Program, Public Health Agency of Canada

          The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) reminds travellers that anti-malarial medication and the use of personal protective measures against mosquito bites are recommended to prevent getting malaria while visiting certain areas in the Dominican Republic.

          There is a risk of getting malaria in the resort areas within the province of La Altagracia, as well as all rural areas of the Dominican Republic especially in areas bordering Haiti. The tourist resort destinations of Punta Cana and Bavaro are located within the province La Altagracia.

          The Public Health Agency of Canada recommends that travellers use personal protective measures against mosquito bites and use appropriate anti-malarial medication when travelling to destinations where malaria occurs.

          Chloroquine is the anti-malarial drug of choice for travel to areas at risk of malaria transmission in the Dominican Republic. Alternative effective medications are atovaquone/progranil (Malarone®), doxycycline and mefloquine.

          #5 shellb

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            Posted 01 February 2009 - 01:21 PM

            Dosages I think it depends on the type of medication prescribed. I know the stuff my doctor is going to prescribe (not sure the name) it goes something like 1 dose 2 Mondays prior, another dose 1 Monday prior, 1 dose the Monday while there, and I think one a few Mondays after you get back. I have an appointment in early March for our late April wedding to get the prescription and details on how to take it.

            #6 Christinamaria22

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              Posted 01 February 2009 - 03:20 PM

              so you contacted your doctor and specified you wanted something for malaria or you just let them know your travel and they recommended it?

              #7 lscilley

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                Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:37 PM

                Last time we went(there was a Malaria Warning as well) we had to take a pill once a week for 2 weeks prior, the week we were there and 2 weeks after we got back. The perscription was really cheap and I thought why not to just be safe for such a little cost. The pills never bothered us but there were alot of people who never took them too. I informed my guests from the beginning that these pills are something they should look into but I am not worried at all if guests want to get the pills they will and if not then that is there choice.

                #8 shellb

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                  Posted 01 February 2009 - 06:23 PM

                  Originally Posted by Christinamaria22
                  so you contacted your doctor and specified you wanted something for malaria or you just let them know your travel and they recommended it?
                  When I went to my family doctor I told her I was getting married in the DR, that I had researched it on the Canadian Health website and found there was a travel advisory on Malaria for the region we were going to. She suggested that because there were Malaria warnings we should consider taking anti-malarial medication and if I was going to do so book an appointment 6 weeks before going so she could write me the prescription.

                  lscilley: Sounds like you took the stuff my doctor was describing she would write the prescription for.

                  #9 sandinmytoes

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                    Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:39 PM

                    Sounds like Scary news for the DR Tourism Business!
                    I hope all if your dream weddings go off without a single person gettign sick! Godo Luck Gals :)

                    #10 Christinamaria22

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                      Posted 02 February 2009 - 01:46 PM

                      I hate taking medications... I feel that it really leaves you vulnerable for other things s now im kinda ugh!

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