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June 25, 2019

Recent Deaths in the Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic has been in the media spotlight, in light of the recent deaths of vacationers to the island. Many travelers have fallen ill during trips there and the death count has risen to 12 people as of the release of this Assist Alert. The Dominican government claims the deaths are not connected and are unclear about how many deaths were caused naturally versus chemically.

In April 2019, the U.S. State Department sent out a Level 2 travel advisory to announce that increased caution should be taken when traveling to the Dominican Republic due to crime. However, no travel advisories have been issued regarding recent deaths as the Dominican government claims that they were due to natural causes. 
According to Dominican Tourism Minister, Francisco Javier Garcia, over 30 million tourists have visited the Dominican Republic over the last five years and this is the first time international media has reported an alarming situation. Dominican Republic officials have also taken to social media in support of their country and to reassure travelers through the use of #BeFairWithDR.

The U.S. government is currently investigating the causes of these deaths. Many travelers have reported severe illness and are unsure of the cause, whether it’s food poisoning, counterfeit alcohol, pesticides, or water. 


For travelers planning to visit the Dominican Republic: 

Consult a doctor to ensure no pre-existing illnesses would be exacerbated by traveling, especially if you have a chronic medical condition or cardiovascular disease.
Report any discomfort to the hotel staff and ask to change rooms if there is a mossy or rotten smell.
Some symptoms such as abdominal cramping, tearing, drooling, sweating, nausea, and dizziness should be taken seriously from the initial occurrence.

The cause of illness and deaths in the Dominican Republic are still unknown and the cases continue to increase. If you are planning to travel, make sure you take the right preventative measures and keep your family and friends updated about your health.

Assist America also offers many services for travelers experiencing symptoms or those who think they may be affected. Assist America’s coordinators can help with medical referrals, prescription assistance, and medical monitoring of your condition while you travel.

Download the Assist America Mobile App for 24/7 access to our Operations Team. The app also offers features that are useful for travelers such as Pre-Trip Information with country specific immunization requirements and travel alerts. 

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More Info

For more information, contact Assist America at the number on your membership card, or via e-mail at

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The content of this edition of AssistAlert is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace further investigation or personal observations. If you are planning travel, or are traveling in or proximate to the locations identified in this newsletter, you are encouraged to contact SecurAssist for additional information.

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