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Guadeloupe

Health & safety

Dangers & annoyances

Bilharzia (schistosomiasis) is found throughout Grande-Terre and in much of Basse-Terre, including Grand Étang lake. The main method of prevention is to avoid swimming or wading in fresh water.

There have been recent outbreaks of dengue fever, aka breakbone fever because of the joint and muscle pain it inflicts. It’s potentially fatal. Health professionals advise using insect repellent containing DEET or Picaridin on exposed skin. Dengue outbreaks tend to occur wherever there’s standing water – more frequent in cities than in the countryside.

Occasional islandwide strikes can grind tourism services to a screeching halt.

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While you're there

Medical services

Medical care is equivalent to mainland France: very good. The biggest hospital is the Centre Hospitalier in Pointe-à-Pitre, though there are smaller hospitals in almost every region. There are plenty of pharmacies everywhere; look for the green cross, often flashing in neon.

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