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  1. #1
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    Question Punta Cana Iberostar Bavaro

    Hello everyone!

    I am new to this site and have some questions about Punta Cana. I am going on a large family trip to Punta Cana in April with my family (11 people) and we are staying at the Iberostar Bavaro. Any tips, comments or information that anyone has would be greatly appreciated. I do have a couple of questions:

    *Can you scuba in Punta Cana if you are not certified?
    *Does anyone know if Helmet Diving is available nearby?
    *Should I be worried about Maleria?
    *How is the weather in April?
    *Has anyone stayed at the Iberostar Bavaro? Any comments (good or bad)?
    *Are there any special sites or things to do that we should be aware of (5 kids ages 16,14,13,12, and 11 and 6 adults). We are a group that likes to have fun and do interesting things.

    Thanks in advance for all of your input. I need as much info as I can get.

    Thanks again!
    Debi

  2. #2
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    Default

    I would think you could have a problem because you will need service for your tanks, and the shops wont service you unless you are certified.

    Punta Cana received 1,475,000 foreign visitors in 2005. Of these, there were two cases of malaria reported in October/September, and thus the reason for the CDC alert. Dominican residents do not protect themselves. To play it safe, use repellent, as recommended on the CDC travel health section. The best protection is to avoid being bit.

    Weather in April is excellent. Not too hot.

    Punta Cana is great place for kids. Beaches are great. Children love all-inclusives because they can feel free and eat and drink as they feel like it. You can forget about them, as they go about doing their things. There are speedboats, 4 wheel rides, sky rding, dolphin swim, all of interest to youngsters.

    Very comfortable resort. See http://dr1.com/directories/hotels/ib..._resorts.shtml

  3. #3
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    Default

    I think the answer you are looking for about scuba diving is that most dive shops offer a short "resort" course at the larger hotels for non-certified divers and will then take you on a shallow water supervised dive.

  4. #4
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    Default

    You can scuba dive if you're not certified by enrolling into one of the many learn to dive programs (resort dives) that almost every hotel offers. This is not a certification but just a supervised swimming pool lesson followed by a supervised dive.

    Malaria is not a problem in the DR, unless you spend a lot of time in the bush or in Haitian villages.

  5. #5
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    Default iberostar bavaro/el cortecito

    Have stayed at Iberostar Bavaro 7 or 8 times. Love it! In fact we enjoy DR so much, we have bought our own condo in Punta Cana (el Cortecito to be exact). Your family will have a ball. Took malaria meds once. Didn't like the side effects. Never took it again. You will find that the better resorts spray regularly and mosquitos aren't much of a problem. Have a wonderful trip. We will also be in DR for 8 days in April.

  6. #6
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    Default iberostar

    We will also be there in April (8th - 16th) with two kids ages 12 & 15. We have taken all of the SCUBA required classes (along with pool dives) and will be getting certified in the DR. Can't wait!

  7. #7
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    Thumbs up Thanks!

    Thank you to everyone who responded! I now have a better idea what to expect. To those of you going, have a great trip! I will be there the 14th to the 21st. Again, thank you so much! Have a great day!

  8. #8
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    Default Malaria I.

    I.However, since November 2004, CDC has received reports of three malaria cases in U.S. travelers returning from areas in La Altagracia and Duarte provinces (Figure) previously considered nonmalarious. An additional 14 cases of malaria in La Altagracia Province, in the far eastern region of the country, have been reported in European and Canadian travelers. This report describes three of these 17 malaria cases and summarizes the overall investigation, which led to expansion of CDC recommendations for chloroquine prophylaxis to include all of La Altagracia and Duarte provinces.

    The MoH investigation included active case detection and entomologic investigations in La Altagracia and Duarte provinces. In Duarte Province, officials confirmed that no other cases had been reported during 2003--2004. Nonetheless, MoH is taking precautionary measures, including enhanced surveillance. In La Altagracia Province, MoH surveillance data have identified an increase in cases of malaria beginning in November 2004 among migrant workers in the Bavaro Zone, 10 miles from the Punta Cana resort area. MoH intensified control measures in the Bavaro Zone, which include 1) presumptive treatment of all construction and hotel workers by using directly observed therapy with chloroquine and primaquine, and 2) mosquito control through residual and spatial insecticide spraying and application of larvicide to suspected breeding sites. Measures instituted in the Punta Cana resort area include intensified surveillance and larvicide application.

    This is an officialCDC Health Advisory
    Distributed via Health Alert NetworkNovember 30, 2004, 15:15 EST (03:15 PM EST)CDCHAN-00217-04-11-30-ADV-N
    Revised Recommendations for Malaria Prophylaxis
    in Dominican Republic
    CDC has received reports of 2 cases of malaria in November 2004 in U.S. travelers to
    the Dominican Republic whose visits were limited to Punta Cana (La Altagracia
    Province) and San Francisco de Macoris (Duarte Province). During the same period at
    least 2 more cases have been reported in European travelers who visited Punta Cana.
    CDC has recommended malaria prophylaxis for travelers to rural areas in the Dominican
    Republic but not for travel to resorts. In light of these reports, as a precautionary
    measure, CDC is expanding the recommendations to include chloroquine prophylaxis for
    travelers to all areas in La Altagracia Province, including the Punta Cana area, and also
    to all areas of Duarte Province. The Ministry of Health in the Dominican Republic has
    implemented malaria control measures, including intensified surveillance, prompt case
    management, and intensive mosquito control activities. CDC will continue to monitor the
    situation and provide updates on these recommendations.
    Health care providers needing assistance with diagnosis or management of suspected
    cases of malaria should call the CDC Malaria Hotline: 770-488-7788 (M-F, 8am-4:30 pm,
    eastern time). For emergency consultation after hours, call: 770-488-7100 and request
    to speak with a CDC Malaria Branch clinician.

    In rural areas of the Dominican Republic, P. falciparum malaria is endemic, with the highest risk in the far western region of the country, and prophylactic medication with chloroquine is recommended for incoming travellers. Conversely, urban and resort areas in the Dominican Republic have been considered nonmalarious, and prophylactic medication has not been recommended for persons travelling to these areas(1). However, since November 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received reports of three malaria cases in U.S. travellers returning from areas in La Altagracia and Duarte provinces previously considered nonmalarious. An additional 14 cases of malaria in La Altagracia Province, in the far eastern region of the country, have been reported in European and Canadian travellers. This report describes three of these 17 malaria cases and summarizes the overall investigation, which led to expansion of CDC recommendations for chloroquine prophylaxis to include all of La Altagracia and Duarte provinces.
    Prevention and Control Measures
    On 24 November, CDC expanded its recommendations for chloroquine prophylaxis for travellers to the Dominican Republic to include all of La Altagracia and Duarte provinces, in addition to rural areas countrywide(2). The revised recommendations advise clinicians and travellers about the expanded malaria risk area so that any febrile persons who have visited these areas will receive prompt diagnosis and treatment to avoid severe complications. Major networks of blood collection agencies and the Food and Drug Administration also were contacted. Similar alerts were issued by health officials in Europe and by the Public Health Agency of Canada.
    The MoH investigation included active case detection and entomologic investigations in La Altagracia and Duarte provinces. In Duarte Province, officials confirmed that no other cases had been reported during 2003-2004. Nonetheless, MoH is taking precautionary measures, including enhanced surveillance. In La Altagracia Province, MoH surveillance data have identified an increase in cases of malaria beginning in November 2004 among migrant workers in the Bavaro Zone, 10 miles from the Punta Cana resort area. MoH intensified control measures in the Bavaro Zone, which included: 1) presumptive treatment of all construction and hotel workers by using directly observed therapy with chloroquine and primaquine, and 2) mosquito control through residual and spatial insecticide spraying and application of larvicide to suspected breeding sites. Measures instituted in the Punta Cana resort area include intensified surveillance and larvicide application.
    MMWR Editorial Note
    This report describes an outbreak of malaria in areas in the Dominican Republic previously thought to be nonmalarious. P. falciparum is the only malaria parasite in the Dominican Republic and has remained susceptible to chloroquine. Because P. falciparum malaria can be rapidly fatal, travellers should be aware of risk areas so that they can take appropriate preventive measures; clinicians should consider malaria in their diagnosis and treatment of febrile illness in travellers. Malaria can be prevented by taking an antimalarial drug and by preventing mosquito bites. Chloroquine is the recommended drug for malaria prevention for persons travelling to the Dominican Republic and is highly efficacious and well tolerated by most travellers. To prevent mosquito bites, travellers should use insect repellent containing up to 50% DEET and wear long-sleeved clothing; if not staying in screened or air-conditioned housing, they should sleep under a net, preferably one treated with insecticide. Rapid intervention is crucial for ill travellers with suspected malaria(3). In nearly all cases in this outbreak, delays in diagnosis and treatment occurred; in certain cases, delays contributed to serious illness.

    South Dakota Department of Health
    CDC Advisory 00217
    This is an official
    CDC Health Advisory
    Distributed via Health Alert Network
    November 30, 2004, 15:15 EST (03:15 PM EST)
    CDCHAN-00217-04-11-30-ADV-N
    Revised Recommendations for Malaria Prophylaxis
    in Dominican Republic
    CDC has received reports of 2 cases of malaria in November 2004 in U.S. travelers to the Dominican Republic whose visits were limited to Punta Cana (La Altagracia Province) and San Francisco de Macoris (Duarte Province). During the same period at least 2 more cases have been reported in European travelers who visited Punta Cana. CDC has recommended malaria prophylaxis for travelers to rural areas in the Dominican Republic but not for travel to resorts. In light of these reports, as a precautionary measure, CDC is expanding the recommendations to include chloroquine prophylaxis for travelers to all areas in La Altagracia Province, including the Punta Cana area, and also to all areas of Duarte Province. The Ministry of Health in the Dominican Republic has implemented malaria control measures, including intensified surveillance, prompt case management, and intensive mosquito control activities. CDC will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates on these recommendations.

    Malaria in the Dominican Republic
    Updated: January 31, 2006
    The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to recommend malaria prophylaxis (medication) and the use personal insect protective measures against mosquito bites for travel to rural areas of the Dominican Republic AND to all areas, including resort areas, within the province of La Altagracia. The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) continues to recommend malaria prophylaxis (medication) and the use of personal insect protective measures (e.g., repellants) against mosquito bites for travel to all rural areas of the Dominican Republic.
    Additionally, in light of the evidence of ongoing malaria transmission in and around tourist resort areas within the province of La Altagracia , the Public Health Agency of Canada in consultation with the Malaria Sub-Committee of the Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) has expanded its recommendations as follows:
    For travel to rural areas of the country AND to all areas within the province of La Altagracia (including resort areas):
     The Agency recommends malaria prophylaxis (medication) and the use personal insect protective measures against mosquito bites.
    The tourist resort destinations of Punta Cana and Bavaro are located within the province of La Altagracia.
    Note : While chloroquine is the malaria drug of choice for the Dominican Republic , atovaquone / proguanil (Malarone ), doxycycline and mefloquine are as effective as chloroquine and readily available.
    How to prevent malaria infection
    Two important measures can help you prevent malaria infection: avoiding mosquito bites and using effective anti-malarial medications.
    Personal Measures to Avoid Mosquitoes
    Female Anopheles mosquitoes bite mainly during the evening and night. Using personal insect protective measures will reduce your risk of being bitten by these mosquitoes.
     stay in well-screened or completely enclosed, air-conditioned accommodation;
     sleep under insecticide-treated bed nets;
     wear clothing that reduces the amount of exposed skin; wear long-sleeved shirts (tightly weaved material, sleeves down, buttoned/zipped up, tucked into pants) and long pants (tucked into socks or footwear);
     light-coloured clothing may be less attractive to some mosquitoes and make mosquitoes more noticeable;
     use DEET-based products as repellents on exposed skin. The higher the concentration of DEET in the repellent formulation, the longer the duration of protection. However, this relation reaches a plateau at about 30% to 35%. DEET formulations that are "extended duration" (ED), such as polymers, are generally considered to provide longer protection times, and may be associated with less DEET absorption. Formulations over 30% are not currently available in Canada , although they are available internationally, including in the United States . It should be noted, however, that products sold outside Canada have not been evaluated by Health Canada . Most repellents containing "natural" products are effective for shorter durations than DEET and for this reason are not considered the preferred products for protecting against mosquito bites.
     Regulatory agencies in western nations may differ regarding the recommended maximum concentration and application rates of DEET, especially for children. The Committee to Advise on Tropical Medicine and Travel (CATMAT) is satisfied that, for travel outside of Canada where the risk of malaria outweighs the risk of any important adverse reaction to DEET, the threshold for use of DEET should be low.
     CATMAT recommends that concentrations of DEET up to 35% can be used by any age group.
     For children, alternative personal protective measures, such as mosquito nets treated with insecticide, should be the first line of defense, especially for infants less than 6 months of age. Portable mosquito nets, including self-standing nets, placed over a car seat, a crib, playpen, or stroller help protect against mosquitoes. However, as a complement to the other methods of protection, the judicious use of DEET should be considered for children of any age. Recent medical literature from Canada suggests that DEET does not pose a significant or substantial extra risk to infants and children.
     DEET/sunscreen combination products are not generally recommended, because DEET can decrease the efficacy of sunscreens. As well, sunscreens should be used liberally and often while DEET should be used sparingly and only as often as required. If application of both is necessary, the Canadian Dermatology Association recommends that the sunscreen be applied first and allowed to penetrate the skin for 20 minutes, prior to applying DEET.
    These precautions will also help to prevent other mosquito-borne infections such as dengue fever.

  9. #9
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    Default Malaria II.

    Malaria II.

    Antimalarial Medication (Prophylaxis)
    Antimalarial medications decrease the risk of developing symptomatic malaria. However, they do not provide 100% protection against the disease. Your individual need for antimalarial medications should be discussed with your physician or travel medicine professional several weeks before travel.
    If your physician or travel medicine clinic prescribes an antimalarial medication, it is important that you take it as directed in order to maximize the protective effect. Each drug has its own dosing regime that should be strictly followed. Because of the incubation period of the disease, these medications must be taken both before, during, and after travel.
    Travellers are reminded to complete their prescribed regimen of prophylaxis on their return. Except for atovaquone/proguanil which must be taken for one week after returning from a malaria-endemic area, chloroquine, doxycyline and mefloquine must be taken for four weeks after returning from a malaria-endemic area.
    For travellers who opt not to take malaria prophylaxis during their travel to La Altagracia, PHAC does not recommend that they start chemoprophylaxis on their return home to Canada but advises that individuals seek immediate medical attention should they develop a fever and inform their physician that they have visited an area where malaria occurs so that they can be tested without delay.

    Important to Note:
    If you develop a fever within 3 months after returning from an area where malaria occurs, you should seek medical advice immediately. Be sure to inform your physician that you have visited an area where malaria occurs so that you can be tested without delay. Malaria must be ruled out by the examination of one or more blood films under a microscope.

    Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness.
    Humans get malaria from the bite of a mosquito infected with the parasite. Prevent this serious disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites (see below). All travelers to malaria-risk areas in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, including infants, children, and former residents of these islands, should take an antimalarial drug. All travelers to Haiti are at risk for malaria, except no risk in the cruise port of Labadee (Labadie). Travelers to rural areas of the Dominican Republic are at risk for malaria, with the highest risk in provinces bordering Haiti. In addition, risk in all areas of La Altagracia Province, including resort areas (Updated October 21, 2005). Travelers to malaria-risk areas in Haiti and the Dominican Republic should take chloroquine to prevent malaria.
    Cutaneous larval migrans is a risk for travelers with exposures on beaches and leptospirosis is present. Eosinophilic meningitis caused by Angiostongylus cantonensis occurred in travelers to Jamaica. Anthrax occurs in Haiti. Other infections that tend to occur more often in longer-term travelers (or immigrants from this region) include lymphatic filariasis (Dominican Republic and Haiti), cutaneous leishmaniais (Dominican Republic), tuberculosis (Haiti), HIV (Haiti), and hepatitis B (Haiti and the Dominican Republic). There remains very limited risk of schistosomiasis in few areas. Other hazards for travelers include toxic fish poisoning

    What You Need To Bring With You

    Long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and a hat to wear whenever possible while outside, to prevent illnesses carried by insects (e.g., malaria, Dengue, filariasis, leishmaniasis, and onchocerciasis).
    Insect repellent containing DEET.
    Bed nets treated with permethrin. For use and purchasing information, see Insecticide Treated Bednets on the CDC malaria site. Overseas, permethrin or another insecticide, deltamethrin, may be purchased to treat bed nets and clothes.
    Flying-insect spray to help clear rooms of mosquitoes. The product should contain a pyrethroid insecticide; these insecticides quickly kill flying insects, including mosquitoes.
    Iodine tablets and portable water filters to purify water if bottled water is not available. See Preventing Cryptosporidiosis: A Guide to Water Filters and Bottled Water for more detailed information.
    Sunblock, sunglasses, and a hat for protection from harmful effects of UV sun rays. See Skin Cancer Questions and Answers for more information.
    Prescription medications: make sure you have enough to last during your trip, as well as a copy of the prescription(s) or letter from your health-care provider on office stationery explaining that the medication has been prescribed for you.
    Always carry medications in their original containers, in your carry-on luggage.
    Be sure to bring along over-the-counter antidiarrheal medication (e.g., bismuth subsalicylate, loperamide) and an antibiotic prescribed by your doctor to self-treat moderate to severe diarrhea. See suggested over-the-counter medications and first aid items for a travel kit.

    Staying Healthy During Your Trip

    Travelers should take the following precautions.To stay healthy, do: *When using repellent on a child, apply it to your own hands and then rub them on your child. Avoid children's eyes and mouth and use it sparingly around their ears.
    Wash your hands often with soap and water or, if hands are not visibly soiled, use a waterless, alcohol-based hand rub to remove potentially infectious materials from your skin and help prevent disease transmission.
    In developing countries, drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes. If this is not possible, learn how to make water safer to drink.
    Take your malaria prevention medication before, during, and after travel, as directed. (See your health care provider for a prescription.)
    To prevent fungal and parasitic infections, keep feet clean and dry, and do not go barefoot, even on beaches.
    Always use latex condoms to reduce the risk of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.
    Protect yourself from mosquito insect bites:
    o Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats when outdoors.
    o Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
    o Use insect repellents that contain DEET (N, N-diethylmethyltoluamide). For more information about insect repellents and correct use, see What You Need to Know about Mosquito Repellent on the CDC West Nile Virus site.
    o If no screening or air conditioning is available: use a pyrethroid-containing spray in living and sleeping areas during evening and night-time hours; sleep under bed nets, preferably insecticide-treated ones.
    o If you are visiting friends and relatives in your home country, see additional special information about malaria prevention in Recent Immigrants to the U.S. from Malarious Countries Returning 'Home' to Visit Friends and Relatives on the CDC Malaria site.
    Do not
    Do not eat food purchased from street vendors or food that is not well cooked to reduce risk of infection (i.e., hepatitis A and typhoid fever).
    Do not drink beverages with ice.
    Avoid dairy products, unless you know they have been pasteurized.
    Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain water-borne diseases such as schistosomiasis. (For more information, please see Swimming and Recreational Water Precautions.)
    Do not handle animals, especially monkeys, dogs, and cats, to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague). Consider pre-exposure rabies vaccination if you might have extensive unprotected outdoor exposure in rural areas. For more information, please see Animal-Associated Hazards.
    Do not share needles for tattoos, body piercing or injections to prevent infections such as HIV and hepatitis B.

    After You Return Home

    If you have visited a malaria-risk area in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, continue taking your chloroquine for 4 weeks after leaving the risk area.
    Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever or flu-like illness either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the physician your travel history.

  10. #10
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    Default Great advice germphobe!

    Make sure you wear rubber gloves when you open the bathroom door on the plane.


    **Did you know it's a violation of copyright laws to cut and paste without a footnote?

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