Helps – Mosquitoes

Mosquito-Borne Illnesses

Chikungunya, dengue, malaria and zika are all mosquito-borne illnesses that are present in the Dominican Republic. These illnesses are nasty and can also be very painful and debilitating. Use DEET sprays so you do not ruin your fun vacation time with a few days (or more) of sickness.

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Dengue

is a disease carried and transmitted by a mosquito and is found mainly in tropical and subtropical areas. These mosquitoes (Aedes) are more day biters (sunrise and sunset) than night biters (which most people expect them to bite at night). When they bite they leave behind a flu-like viral disease. After bitten the symptoms can come on very rapidly with a high fever, bad headache, behind the eye pain along with muscle and joint aches (this is why it is also known as “breakbone fever”). There can also be a rash (usually appearing 3 to 4 days after the fever happens). Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite are common. A rash usually appears 3 to 4 days after the start of the fever.

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Chikungunya

Chikungunya is another type of viral disease spread by the bite of mosquitoes. The same day-biting mosquitoes that transmit the dengue virus can transmit chikungunya. There is no direct person-to-person transmission. Once bitten it could take a few days or even a week to notice the symptoms such as fever and joint pains, usually in the hands, wrists, ankles and feet. You could have a headache, rash and leukopenia. On rare occasions, there are stronger symptoms such as gastrointestinal complaints, eye, neurological and heart problems.

Once infected the symptoms are usually mild and can even go unrecognized or be misdiagnosed as dengue. Recovery usually happens after a few days but the pain can linger for longer, sometimes pain has been known to stay around for months or longer.

*Now that you know what to look for if bitten, they (and you know who THEY are??) say the nasty bite only happens to about 100 tourists a year in the Dominican Republic. The resorts usually spray for mosquitoes often so there are not many mosquitos. But they can sneak in so it is best to stay cautious. It is best to use some DEET type of bug spray, the stronger the spray the better. A fan can help to keep mosquitoes away as their lightweight bodies can’t fly into the wind. They are more prevalent in areas where there is standing water, as with all mosquitoes, no matter what their country of origin, race or creed (LOL!).

*BE CAUTIOUS but don’t let these nasty bloodsuckers ruin what can be a great time in the Dominican Republic. Take precautions, spray yourself often with a good bug spray and enjoy the sun and fun.

More information on Dengue and Chikungunya at Wikipedia.

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