a VirtualTourist member
We are thinking of travelling to dominica this winter with a 5 month old baby and 3 year old for a couple of months. I know the island has dengue fever, but does anyone know how common it is, and should I be worried about travelling with such young children?
A few thoughts (and I agree with the comments on seeking medical advice). Even better if you can find a doctor who is knowledgable regarding the specific conditions that you could run into on Dominica and what to do for your children.
Dengue is a mosquito borne disease and if I remember correctly, the carrier is one that also bites during daylight hours, not just at dawn or dusk like some of the other species. There is no prophylaxis or post-infection treatment, so prevention is what you have to aim for. Insect repellent containing an appropriate concentration of DEET does work, but a baby's skin is quite delicate, so medical advice is warranted.
You also need to watch the harsh tropical sun for the children (suitable sunscreen) and should be aware that the change of water and foods could upset your children's digestion. We had a minor emergency with my youngest daughter when we were in the Carribean when she was 9 months old - severe diarehha that required medical intervention (rehydration salts) - take some Pedeolyte along, plus your favourite barrier cream. Even your 3-year old might have issues - my older daughter developed quite the rash from too much fresh fruit in her diet on another Carribean trip when she was around two years old.
You should also check into the medical services that are available from where you are staying should something happen. We did travel to developing countries with both of our daughters, starring when they were quite young, but they were around 9 months old.
All I can suggest is good medical advice. If the trip seems too risky, you could always consider a delay until your youngest is a bit older.