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Cholera in Dominican Republic

24 Apr 2012

The Health Minister of Dominican Republic has reported a new outbreak of cholera in the country. More than 200 suspected cases have been reported and of those, 6 have been laboratory confirmed as cholera.

The outbreak has occurred in the town of Tamboril in Santiago province where heavy rains damaged water and sewage pipes earlier in April 2012. The government has arranged for chlorination of potable water in the area.

The first cholera outbreak in Dominican Republic began in late 2010, with more than 22 500 cases and 163 deaths reported.

Advice for travellers 

Cholera is spread by the faecal-oral route. It is mainly contracted by drinking contaminated water or eating seafood, especially shellfish. An oral vaccine is available which may be appropriate in travellers unable to access bottled or adequately chlorinated drinking water.

Travellers to the Dominican Republic should discuss their possible risk with their pre-travel advisor who can advise on the use of the vaccine. All travellers should practise strict food and water hygiene and wash their hands frequently, especially before eating.