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Our firdt time to the DR 4/29-5/6

Boston
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Our firdt time to the DR 4/29-5/6

My boyfriend and I, along with another couple, are going to La Romana in two weeks. (so excited, I'm already packed!)

There are a few things that I wanted to find out before we go..

Health risks? I've heard about the water and have been advised to drink bottled water only, but what about the ice cubes they use in the drinks? What are the chances of getting sick from a frozen drink?

I am also aware that malaria is a potential risk and plan on bringing bug spray, but what meds, vaccines, preventatives are necessary?

We are all in our mid twenties and healthy as can be, but agree that we had better be safe than sorry...

I have packed clorox wipes and antibacterial hand gel; is there anything else I should bring for sterilizing purposes?

Chicago
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39 posts
17 reviews
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1. Re: Our firdt time to the DR 4/29-5/6

We visited La Romana in March. I had done research on the malaria issue and the CDC site states that there have been no cases of malaria in the La Romana area and there is basically no risk to visitors to that area. That said, we took a can of Deep Woods Off with us. Mosquitos were not much of a problem, but it's a good idea to spray in the evening. Some folks going to La Romana took anti-malaria medicine on the advice of their doctors but I thought that was overdoing it. I've taken that medicine before and it made me sick to my stomach. Why do that when the risk is almost nonexistent? Our family and another family, including kids went last month and everyone is fine. Regarding getting sick from the ice, that is unlikely. It is critical, however not to brush your teeth with or drink tap water. They provide plenty of bottled water in your room, but it's a hard habit to break. Don't know what caused it, but everyone in our group had some level of stomach upset. Nothing severe that ruined our good time but half of us had the runs even after we returned. You can minimize the risk by eating carefully and having food (e.g. omelettes) cooked in front of you at the buffets. But the fact is, foreign travel to a third world country does introduce you to unfamiliary bacteria and your body has one way of getting rid of that. Drinking excessively is also very irritating to the stomach so you'll want to watch that as well.

DE
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245 posts
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2. Re: Our firdt time to the DR 4/29-5/6

Chicagomom nailed the malaria issue. I found the site below very helful informing folks about la turista...

http://familydoctor.org/182.xml

To add my $.02 worth on the issue...

All of these resorts use purified water for ice and cooking. I think that many cases of tummy troubles have nothing to do with the water, but could be traced to buffet line food that's been left out unrefridgerated. We try to hit the buffet when the food is freshly served, and try to eat cooked-to-order (eggs in the AM... a al carte at night) as much as we can.

FWIW, the biggest exposure to unpurified water is in the shower (close your mouth) and brushing one's teeth.

An underrated source of problems is significant changes in dietary habits when on vacation.... like sudden exposure to large amounts of cocoanut cream (a potent laxative), fresh fruits, fresh fruit juices, or butterfat in desserts and ice cream...

We've done lots of trips to areas at high risk of Montezuma's Revenge (including the DR) and on every trip but one (the last one) somebody got sick for at least one day... sometimes mildly, sometimes not.

Keller Tx.
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224 posts
14 reviews
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3. Re: Our firdt time to the DR 4/29-5/6

I tend to agree with Surfindad......I always advise to get your doc to do a Anti-biotic

for the stomach stuff if you are worried

and I tend to think most problems come from

food and not water. I always check the tank

on the toilet to see if the water is clear or

full of algae, if the water is clear the hotel

has some sort of purification system. If you

leave the resort I would be really careful if you eat/drink on the local economy and it doesn't come out of a bottle or cooked (ice/fruits/veggies/cheeps/dips etc). I brushed my teeth with tap water a Coral Conoa

last year and had no problem. Not sure if these countries are getting better or I am lucky but even on frequent trips to Mex as an airline pilot I have had no problems in at least 10 years or more.........

Boston
13 posts
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4. Re: Our firdt time to the DR 4/29-5/6

Thank you so much CM and SD! Very helpful info.

(I must remember to bing some Pepto or Imodium)

We are staying at the Iberostar HD, whose standards seem to be above average, from what I have read. That, plus your input has significantly eased my anxieties about getting sick.

Thanks again!

Keller Tx.
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224 posts
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5. Re: Our firdt time to the DR 4/29-5/6

kgal..........What about me??? Waaaaahhhhhh!

Boston
13 posts
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6. Re: Our firdt time to the DR 4/29-5/6

I think we posted at the same time. I did not see yours until after I wrote my response.

Having said that...

Thank you, you're response was equally as valuable as the other two!