Today, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention issued a bulletin for those headed to Haiti or the Dominican Republic over the holidays to take precautions against cholera. Business Week reports:
The CDC is now offering travelers to Haiti and the Dominican Republic tips for preventing cholera and treating it should the disease arise. When packing for your trip, include water purification tablets and oral rehydration salts. Both products can be purchased at major retailers as well as sports and outdoors stores.
When you are in Haiti or the Dominican Republic, use only safe water for drinking, preparing foods and beverages, brushing teeth, and washing hands. Safe water includes water that has been boiled or treated with water purification tablets or chlorine, and bottled water with unbroken seals. Canned/bottled carbonated beverages are also safe to drink and use, says the CDC.
You should also:
- Make sure food is thoroughly cooked and served hot.
- Wash your hands often with soap and safe water, or use 62 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Wash yourself, your children, diapers and clothes away from drinking water sources.
- If you develop watery diarrhea (a sign of cholera) while on your trip, you should start drinking safe water mixed with oral rehydration salts immediately. Sip the solution every few minutes as long as the diarrhea persists. Go to a clinic right away.
If you don’t have oral rehydration salts, sip safe water. Seek out medical care and oral rehydration salts immediately, the CDC advises. If you develop watery diarrhea within 10 days of returning from Haiti or the Dominican Republic, seek medical care and tell your doctor or health-care provider that you have been in a country where there is cholera. Do not travel again until you are well.