Deaths due to leptospirosis in Santiago and Puerto Plata Provinces, Dominican Republic

In the past few weeks, 4 children from the towns of Tamboril, Imbert and Villa la Isabela have died due to leptospirosis, while 25 additional people have been hospitalized in Santiago and Puerto Plata Provinces. Excessive rains have created pools of water contaminated by rodents that carry this infection.

Visit our Health Library for more information on exposure to and the prevention of Leptospirosis.

Advice For Travellers

Leptospirosis is acquired through skin exposure (especially if there are open wounds) to water or damp soil that has been contaminated by an infected animal's urine. For travellers, this exposure usually occurs through recreational water activities, like whitewater rafting, swimming, kayaking or during floods. The risk of acquiring leptospirosis is higher after a period of heavy rainfall or flooding.

Travellers can reduce the risk of exposure to leptospirosis during floods or heavy rainfall by avoiding contact with flood waters, e.g., wearing waterproof boots and other protective clothing.

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