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illness?

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North Yorkshire
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17 posts
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illness?

Hi all

I am just a bit bothered about getting ill out there. I have read a few reviews and they sound a bit scarey, severe stomach cramps and D&V blaming food poisoning at Riu Merenge(only read reviews for this hotel) which is where I am going.

Are you all worried or not.

caroline

Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
340 posts
5 reviews
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1. Re: illness?

My family travel alot , we are always reading reviews about upset tummies etc on whatever holiday we have booked , we are also going to the same hotel as you next year , even when we went to cuba pepole were saying about people getting sick , we are a family of six , ages from 4 - 65, we always take the hand gel which kills nearly every germ known , we use after going to the bathroom , and also before every meal , we have never had a problem and we have been all over the world , egypt and kenya again soon , we never worry , but we do go careful , no over drinking or getting sun burn etc also helps , just do what you do at home and i'm sure you will be fine , happy holidays

Isle of Man
Destination Expert
for Cabarete
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1,147 posts
26 reviews
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2. Re: illness?

I've got a section on my personal web site about 'staying healthy' in DR.

http://www.cabarete.org/aboutDR.html

Without repeating it all here, the key issues are...

At all inclusives, some people think they have to get there monies worth... usually on day one! They change their diet to a high fibre one (which makes you poo).

They drink a lot more alcohol than back home (which can make you poo)

They drink pina-coladas which is made with coconut milk/cream. Coconut is a natural laxative... it makes you poo.

They lay in the sun, drinking alcohol instead of water... Heat exhaustion gives you stomach cramps (among other things).

And if they are on anti-malarial medication, the most common side effects experienced are stomach cramps.

Add to that the comment above re washing hands (or not) and it's little wonder people get ill, then look for someone other than themselves to blame! When we went to A.I. resorts, we used to play 'spot who you won't see for a few days' game, looking at who was going so daft on day one that they wouldn't be seen for the following three. We even had one group who were all going to eat & drink the hotel into bankruptcy as fast as possible, who then all disappeared for the next few days, except one adult who was going around everyone asking for Imodium because "they've all got food poisoning". I told her we didn't have any. After she'd gone my wife (who is clearly nicer than me) said that we should have let them have some of ours. "No way", said I, "what if we genuinely get an upset stomach after we've given all our meds away?" Self inflicted, no sympathy.

Obviously, we didn't get ill (he says smugly, guaranteeing the wrath of the god 'Salmonella' on our next trip!)

In short;

A) be aware of the side effects of any new medication, especially anti-malaria meds if taken.

B) maintain hand hygiene (gel as advised above if you really want to make sure).

C) change diet gently, it'll be 'free' later in the week too.

D) maintain hydration, drink plenty of water. One bottle of water at least, for every alcoholic drink consumed. Be careful not to be in the sun for too long.

E) take Imodium with you but only use them for diarrhoea not at the first sign of 'wetter' stools, that change is 'normal'.

Observe these and you'll be fine. We've travelled to Dom Rep a dozen times, eating at road side 'local' places, I've eaten from street vendors in Vietnam and Cuba and I've never had food poisoning.

Dorking, United...
Level Contributor
153 posts
1 review
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3. Re: illness?

We stayed at Riu Mambo in June and had NO problems with our stomachs or anything else.

For the first few days only eat the cooked food then slowly you can have the salads, etc. Your body just needs to get used to the different food.

I would suspect that the people who do have problems generally overdo things right from the beginning rather than slowly getting your system used to the change.

You will have a fab time.

Hope this helps,

Martin

new hampshire
Level Contributor
693 posts
11 reviews
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4. Re: illness?

I have been to the DR for 5 years now 2 times a year and what I do is 2 weeks before I leave the USA I eat alot of yogurt and it does work. I have never had a problem either and I do drink and eat when we go, you can try that. And they also have yougrt at the breakfast buffet which i also ate every morning to coat the stomach. Go and have a great time and remember this is a 3rd world country and we are not use to there cooking. So the people that do complain want a 5 star and they will not get it there. The DR is a beautiful country, tip well and they will treat you well, they have to live on $5.00 a day. Good luck and have a great vacation

Derby, United...
Level Contributor
78 posts
1 review
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5. Re: illness?

This is all very true what you guys are saying- People need to understand that stuff is cooked in different opils/different ways/different water ect...

I just got back from Mambo on the 16th July, and I had no problem- I also, Kieth, eat in Puerto Plata at local restraunts and vendors and never had a problem.

People feel ill form time to time. I know lots of people that work at all 3 Riu's hotel and speak to them on a daily basis and they have not said anything about this to me- and they tell me everything.

My advice is if it look like it won't agree with you- don't eat it. Just think with your head...

Hope evryone who is off out to the Riu's soon have a wonderful time, I will be there 24th September :D

Kirst

Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
1,881 posts
26 reviews
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6. Re: illness?

cazza...there has not been any major illness at the Merengue in over 4years! Since the virus went thru in Dec/04, the hotel was cleaned from top to bottom & side to side. Each public washroom has at least 2 attendents there at all times...one cleaning the washrooms & one at the door with hand sanitizer. As you proceed into the main buffet restaurant, an attendent is there with hand sanitizer..to be used when you go in for dinner & when you come out. The food preparation & cooking is done while wearing protective gloves & the chef & sous chef take pride in their kitchens & staff members.

The resort is one of the cleanest that I've come across. We have been there twice & neither myself or my husband have been ill...and I'm the one with the touchy stomach!.

So my advise...1)read the reviews, 2)look at the dates inwhich the reviews are written so you know that its' an up to date review, 3)take what is said on the bad reviews with a grain of salt,& 4)use your own common sense

North Yorkshire
Level Contributor
17 posts
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7. Re: illness?

Thankyou very much for all your replies, I feel alot better and reassured. I think all your advice should be made a sticky( or whatever you call it) so that everyone will read it.Its great.

Really looking forward to it now.

PS Just one other query. I am vegetarian so I eat alot of uncooked stuff like salads etc The nurse who gave me my jabs told me not to eat anything that may be washed with DR water and not to eat any unpeeled fruit so thats all salads and fruit! Was thinking I may starve if I follow this advice! what do you all think.

Thanks again for any replies.

caroline

london,Canada
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1,445 posts
37 reviews
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8. Re: illness?

I would see if you could change your booking to another resort. This is how it started in November 2004 and being one of the families that was hit by the illness it would be in your best interest to change. We were there when it began so we didn't know that there was a problem. The food poisoning issue continued into June the next year. It doesn't matter if the cause is from a virus or bacteria, it is still food poisoning if the problems are with the stomach and bowel.

It's not much of a holiday worrying about what to eat and if you'll get sick. Yes not everyone gets ill but if you are one of the ones who is, you'll wish you had never gone. There are too many other resorts not having this problem that you can go to.

North Yorkshire
Level Contributor
17 posts
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9. Re: illness?

Too late snowyowl I off in 6 days will have to make best of it and follow all above advice

Belleville, Canada
Level Contributor
1,881 posts
26 reviews
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10. Re: illness?

cazza...all the fresh vegetables & fruit is washed with bottled water! The management & government is very strict with that sort of thing...tourism is their lively hood!!

Just make sure that you drink lots of bottled water, use hand sanitizer when offered or what you bring yourself & use common sense!!

Have a great time!