Punta Cana Health Concerns
If you pay attention to a few of the common Punta Cana health concerns, there is no reason to
get sick on your vacation to Punta Cana! With a few common sense strategies you can avoid
ruining your trip.
The number one Punta Cana health concern is definitely traveler's diarrhea. This common
vacation health problem has less to do with Punta Cana than it does with over-indulging at
all-inclusive resorts. Traveler's systems tend to be fatigued from traveling and changes to
sleep schedules - combine this with too much alcohol and different foods than you're used to
and whammo - you're sick!
Usually this common ailment can be cured with a couple days of taking it easy and drinking
lots of water. if it does persist, see the doctor at the resort. Bringing "immodium" with
you on your trip is always a good idea, nothing cures funny bum faster. TIP: if you don't
use the immodium, leaving it with someone there is a good idea as it tends to raise some
flags with the occasional Customs Official (apparently drug swallowers use it so that they
won't go to the bathroom before getting home).
Drinking water in Punta Cana
Drinking water: Do not drink the tap water in Punta Cana, it's not treated and can make you
sick. Most resorts fill your room with bottled water every day. If they don't, buy a few
bottles and carry them around with you. Contrary to what many people will tell you, the ice
machines and water from the fountain machines at the bars is filtered and is perfectly safe.
Malaria in Punta Cana: Punta Cana health concerns and mosquitoes
There have been a few outbreaks of malaria in Punta Cana over the past few years, with 21
cases reported in 2005. The risk of malaria in the Dominican Republic is low; the highest
risk areas being along the border with Haiti. The risk of contracting malaria in Punta Cana
has always been extremely low and the sporadic cases have probably been due to migrant
workers coming from other parts of the country. While 2005 saw 21 cases, there were hundreds
of thousands of visitors to Punta Cana that year - the chances of contracting malaria in
Punta Cana are very slim.
The World Health Organization claims that the risk is not high enough to warrant taking
anti-malarial drugs before or during your stay to Punta Cana. However, if you do get a fever
within a couple months after your visit to Punta Cana - see your doctor immediately. If you
do have malaria, a dose of chloroquine should clear it up within a few days.
Health Agency of Canada
does suggest taking anti-malaria prophylaxis before and after your trip to Punta Cana. There
are definitely some conflicting opinions, so you'll have to make up your own mind. We've
never taken any anti-malaria medication and probably won't in the future.
No matter what you decide, you should definitely bring mosquito repellent (with DEET) for the
evenings and try to get as few bites as possible. We've never had a problem with kids and
mosquitos in Punta Cana, there are never any on the beach because of the constant onshore
breeze - you'll really only notice them at night (if at all).
Swimming in Punta Cana
Swimming in fresh water ponds or lakes is not a good idea anywhere in the Caribbean because
of schistosomiasis causing parasites. Most Punta Cana health concerns can be somehow linked
to parasites growing in warm Caribbean water - if you can't drink it don't swim in it!
Medical attention in Punta Cana
Make sure you have medical insurance as doctors and hospitals expect immediate payment. While
the private health care is generally quite good, prescription drugs are EXTREMELY expensive.
If there is any medicine that you take regularly, bring it with you.
There is a 911 service in Punta Cana for medical emergencies, so if you're in trouble pick up
Most hotels have a doctor on call so you can enquire at the front desk about appointments or
other Punta Cana health concerns.
There is a hospital in Punta Cana that is about 20 minutes from most hotels.
Sun: surprising Punta Cana health concerns
People who are not used to being in the sun all day can develop a rash - a type of allergy to
the sun. Get in the shade for awhile and wear lots of sunscreen and it should go away. If
the rash persists for more than a day or so you should see the doctor at the resort.
Punta Cana health concerns