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Malaria in the Dominican Republic

Posted by Stuart Rose on

Dear Traveler:

The Dominican Republic is a popular destination, but there is the risk of malaria. Be aware, also, of the (greater?) risk of dengue fever and chikungunya fever: these are viral diseases transmitted by daytime-biting mosquitoes. There are no vaccines for these illnesses.

CDC has received multiple reports of malaria among US travelers returning from the Dominican Republic. With the exception of the cities of Santiago and Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic continues to be a country with malaria transmission, including the popular resorts such as Punta Cana and Puerto Plata.

Travelers to Dominican Republic are reminded to take malaria prevention measures, which includes preventing mosquito bites in the evening and at night. The CDC also recommends antimalarial medication for all travelers going to the Dominican Republic, outside of Santiago and Santo Domingo. There are many effective preventive antimalarial options for travel to these areas including: atovaquone-proguanil (Malarone), chloroquine (or hydroxychloroquine), doxycycline, or mefloquine.

Malaria and other diseases including dengue and chikungunya are spread by mosquito bites, therefore measures to prevent mosquito bites should be taken regardless of area of travel in the Dominican Republic. These measures include using insect repellent on your skin when outdoors, staying in an air-conditioned or well-screened area, and sleeping under an insecticide treated bed net during the peak biting period for mosquitoes (dusk and dawn).

Note: Dengue and Chikungunya fevers are transmitted by daytime-biting mosquitoes.

See the CDC Malaria website ( for additional health information about malaria including prevention of mosquito bites and drugs for malaria prevention. For general health information for travelers to all areas of the world, see the CDC Traveler's Health website (


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