One of the major concerns for locals is the effect that a cholera outbreak could have on travel to the Dominican Republic. Like the CDC, major travel advisories recommend awareness and preventive measures. Here are some recommendations to keep in mind:
How to avoid getting cholera: The risk of cholera is very low. When simple precautions are observed, contracting the disease is unlikely even when traveling to an area where there have been cases of cholera. All travelers to areas where cholera has occurred should observe the following recommendations:
– Drink only treated water or safe beverages that include tea and coffee made with boiled water and carbonated drinks. Ice also needs to be treated.
– Eat only foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot, or fruit that you have peeled yourself.
– Avoid undercooked or raw fish or shellfish, including ceviche.
– Make sure all vegetables are cooked and avoid salads.
– Avoid foods and beverages from street vendors.
– A simple rule of thumb is “Boil it, cook it, peel it, or forget it.”
The Mayo Clinic’s advice on cholera is that the overall risk of cholera for travelers is extremely low as the disease is transmitted for drinking untreated water or eating poorly cooked seafood in endemic areas. For the majority of travelers advice on food and water hygiene precautions is the most appropriate prevention strategy.
Cholera is transmitted via the fecal-oral route, most commonly by consumption of contaminated water and, to a lesser degree, food; direct person-to-person transmission is rare. A high infecting dose (as many as 1011 organisms) is necessary to cause illness in healthy individuals. Cholera is easily treated. Death results from severe dehydration that can be prevented with a simple and inexpensive rehydration solution. Cholera can be prevented by good hygiene preventive measures.