Several thousand people a month search for information about Dominican Republic malaria topics, which reflects only a small proportion of the total number of visitors to the DR who, LIKE YOU, are considering taking wise precautions to avoid the remote possibility of you or a member of your family contracting this potentially deadly disease.
If you are thinking of living in the Dominican Republic you will want to know about malaria in the Dominican Republic, and take any necessary measures to ensure that you are not affected by it.
True, in the Dominican Republic malaria is not unheard of. A small outbreak in the major tourist zone of Punta Cana in 2004 caused a lot of concern. Like any 'bad news' this outbreak is still causing a ripple effect of rumours, but the authorities very quickly traced the suspected source and implemented effective control measures, so that by November 2004 no more 'febrile' individuals were being identified.
World wide malaria is a significant health problem. It is a disease of 'cyclical' infection, in that the Anopheles mosquito which spreads the disease cannot spread it UNLESS it feeds on an infected source. So when an infected person has not been diagnosed, quarantined and treated they can become 'a menace to society' IF they travel to highly populated areas where there are ideal conditions for the Anopheles mosquito to breed - which is just what happened with the Dominican Republic malaria cases in 2004.
Malaria - a World wide concern
Malaria - a World wide concern
The female Anopheles mosquito feeds on blood from animals and humans to nourish the eggs she plans to lay. If the mosquito has previously fed on someone suffering from malaria it is very likely that the next person she feeds on will also develop the disease. An infected person CANNOT, however, infect another human being themselves, the mosquito is the agent of infection in this cycle!
The incidence of malaria outbreaks, and the number of malarial regions in the world have been reduced considerably in recent years. However, it is still the world's second biggest KILER DISEASE after tuberculosis, and startlingly accounts for the death of over 1 million people per year worldwide!
Malaria can still be contracted in some 90 countries and amazingly around 10% of the world's population will become infected at some time in their lives. It is still a real possibility to become infected with malaria if you visit an area where it is prevalent whilst on vacation. Such areas are mostly those with tropical climates, such as sub-Saharan Africa (which accounts for 75% of all cases), other areas include Asia, Papua New Guinea and South America. So you should be aware that in the Dominican Republic malaria is not unheard of.
What causes malaria?
What causes malaria?
There are four types of malaria, caused as a result of microscopic parasites from the family Plasmodium finding their way into the bloodstream. In the process of 'biting' its victim the mosquito has to 'inject' anti-coagulant and an anaesthetic to help it enjoy a 'speedy' and uninterrupted feed and thus it also may inject infectious micro-organisms. These 'bugs' quickly multiply from a few organisms to many millions causing the typical symptoms of infection within 1 to 4 weeks of initial infection.
Of the four bacterial types (falciparum, malariae, ovale, vivax) falciparum is the most dangerous and leads to the death of about one in ten victims. However all types of malaria can potentially lead to death if the condition is left untreated too long. Death is also most likely if the sufferer is from a susceptible 'group' such as the very young, the elderly, or someone whose immune system is already compromised by illness.
at least It is important to reiterate that the majority of the Dominican Republic is regarded as a LOW or NO RISK area with respect to malaria. However there are some regions, particularly near the border with Haiti - which is well away from the typical tourist resorts - where a risk is acknowledged. Nevertheless you should still see your GP/MD for latest and best advice with repect to malaria and and medications that are advised, WELL BEFORE you depart on your trip.
Around the globe, thousands of travelers do contract malaria every year. Some may not show symptoms of infection until they return home as the disease may typically take between 7 to 30 days to incubate before it symptoms become obvious. However, the general advice is to refer immediately to your GP/MD if you have traveled to a 'malaria risk' region and develop 'flu like' symptoms upto a YEAR after returning home.
The vast majority recover well, as long as they are treated quickly. Generally, even after commencing treatment, the illness still lays people very low for 10 – 20 days.
Now see our additional 'malaria information' pages
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