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None required by RCI. We've never bothered but some may advise differently. Regards Wilba.
October 28, 2008
Are Caribbean Cruisers At Risk for Dengue Fever?
Think that norovirus is the only serious illness you can catch on a cruise vacation? Try dengue fever. In the Caribbean, the island of St. Maarten is, according to local news reports, experiencing an outbreak of dengue fever – an infection transmitted through mosquito bites with flu-like symptoms – and if you're not careful, you might find yourself laid up in bed after a visit.
The Daily Herald St. Maarten (http://www.thedailyherald.com/news/daily/l137/dengue137.html) has reported that 72 new cases of dengue fever have been identified on the island during the first half of October. While the outbreak is not bad enough to warrant strong travel warnings from organizations like the World Health Organization or to cause cruise lines to cancel calls, travelers should be aware of the growing number of dengue fever cases and prepare accordingly.
Since St. Maarten, part of the Netherlands Antilles, is part of an island occupied by two countries (St. Martin is a French department) we presume that visitors to the latter, too, is impacted.
Here's what cruise travelers should know:
What is dengue fever? Dengue fever is an infection transmitted through mosquito bites. According to the CDC, symptoms include high fevers, severe headaches, joint and muscle pain, nausea and rash. The typical incubation period is 3 – 14 days.
How can I protect myself? There are no vaccines to prevent against dengue fever, so the best method of inoculation is to protect against mosquito bites. Use strong insect repellant on all exposed areas of skin, especially at dawn or dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Alternately, you can wear long-sleeved clothing and long pants. Dengue can be transmitted in both rural and urban areas.
How is St. Maarten responding to this outbreak? St. Maarten's Hygiene Department has scheduled fogging (spraying of insecticide) and has asked residents to check for and get rid of standing water, as this is where mosquitoes breed.
What do I do if I experience symptoms? Consult a physician. There's no specific medicine that cures dengue fever. Patients may be given medication to reduce fever and should try to stay hydrated.
By no means is dengue fever limited to St. Maarten (and St. Martin). Many tropical countries in the Caribbean are at risk for dengue fever outbreaks. In this case -- St. Maarten/St. Martin are very close to St. Barth's, St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John, Tortola and Virgin Gorda -- and the infection could spread beyond its boundaries. Wherever you cruise in the Caribbean, be sure to pack bug spray – and don't forget to use it.
Christopher, where did you find this nauseating piece of journalism?
It is a good job that passengers on cruises do not spend much time ashore from the evening on when most mosquitoes are known to predate. Yes, if you are going to ashore in hot, shady and steamy areas using a repellent is a good thing but this is referring, in the main to people, who are holidaying on the island and not passing through. Nice one though especially as we are coming up to Halloween. ... Neil
Hello Neill i do agee that the reporter is being a bit!!over the top but i do think that it is in the intrest of anyone going to this area to be aware of this outbreak. Dont worry i am not going to Haunt Locks Heath this year old nick has told me to Haunt a old lady in threadneale street. regards Christopher.
Good for you. I was wrong, however, this little so and so hunts in the daytime so DEET seems to be the answer. It is also prevalent in the Texas/Mexico area and Cuba and I thought I was safe having had the yellow fever jab (dengue) but apparently there are a lot of varieties of the virus and covering one of them is not enough. It is also very active in Park Gate and Sarisbury so keep up the good work in EC1. regards. ......Neil.
We have been on several Caribbean cruises and did not have innoculations. We did, however, for South American and Asian cruises.
Hello, my husband and I were on the Oct. 23rd, 2008 Bermuda and Caribbean 9 day cruise on Explorer of the Seas. I was bitten on the beach in St. Maarten by a mosquito and developed flu like symptoms five days later, the day before returning to Bayonne, NJ. Ended up hospitalized that Monday for five days with unknown virus. Hadn't occured to me at that time to tell doctor about the bite. Only when I returned home from hospital that I remembered and googled St. Maarten and mosquito. Turns out there is an epedemic there for Dengue Fever. A visit back to my doctor today was left that he would investigate same and call me back in to do the proper blood testing. Royal Caribbean did not inform passengers of the outbreak. Be careful.....Dee.
Going soon to Caribbean, including Haiti and Panama canal, on Royal Caribbean. What are essential jabs?