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December 7, 2004
For immediate release

Malaria Among Travellers Returning from the Dominican Republic

Health and Social Services

Several cases of malaria have been diagnosed in North America and Europe among travellers who have been in the Dominican Republic since mid October 2004, Dr. Lamont Sweet, Chief Health Officer reported today.

“All persons who are planning to visit Duarte province (town of San Francisco de Macoris) or La Altagracia province (town of Punta Cana) in the Dominican Republic or planning to stay overnight or visit any areas of Duarte or La Altagracia provinces should receive a prescription for medication to prevent malaria before leaving Prince Edward Island,” instructed Dr. Sweet. “Anyone visiting the Dominican Republic should use personal protective measures to prevent mosquito bites such as using DEET-based products, wearing clothing that reduces the amount of exposed skin and staying in well-screened or completely enclosed accommodation.”

The symptoms of malaria include high fever, chills, headache and vomiting. Malaria is caused by a parasite spread to humans by mosquito bites.

Persons who have been to the Dominican Republic since mid October 2004 and who develop a fever, should be screened for malaria by having a blood smear.

Two information sessions for persons planning to visit the Dominican Republic will be held at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, December 15 at the Travel Clinic in the basement of the Polyclinic on Grafton Street in Charlottetown. Appointments can be booked by calling 629-8846.

Media Contact: Anne-Marie Smith
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