“Is counterfeit alcohol behind the Dominican Republic deaths?” questioned Rolling Stone in June.
The headlines disturb: “Another American tourist died in her hotel room …” reported CNN June 17. “Is counterfeit alcohol behind the Dominican Republic deaths?” questioned Rolling Stone in June.
The CNN report shared that 14 million Americans have visited the Dominican Republic since 2012, and from that year to December 2018, 128 Americans died, according U.S. Department of State statistics, though deaths are listed as the result of everything from natural causes to vehicle accidents.
The past year’s U.S. tourist deaths on the Caribbean island have reportedly involved drinks consumed from in-room mini bars or strong chemical smells. But as similar as the incidents may seem, neither the US Embassy or Dominican Ministry of Public Health has acknowledged a connection.
While the recent deaths are still under investigation, Rolling Stone passed on drinking precautions from a representative of Wine and Spirits Wholesalers of America. They include:
‒ Purchase alcohol from licensed bars, restaurants and retailers.
‒ Drink recognizable brands, if possible.
‒ Check labels on bottles for misspelled words, which could indicate counterfeiting.
‒ Make sure a bottle’s seal and cap has not been tampered with.
‒ Be mindful of unrealistically cheap, discounted products.
In general, foreign travel requires planning, advises the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. On travel.state.gov is a Traveler’s Checklist that offers counsel on visiting high-risk areas, for example. On the list: “Identify key sources of possible assistance for you and your family in case of emergency, such as the local U.S. embassy or consulate, FBI, the State Department, your employer (if traveling on business), and local friends/family in the high-risk area.”
Other foreign safety travel tips offered by travelinsurancereview.net:
‒ Keep hotel room doors locked.
‒ Lock valuables in a hotel safe.
‒ Wipe down room with disinfectant wipes and check floor and bed for bugs, dirt and foreign objects.