A group of Jimmy Buffet fans have gotten sick in the Dominican Republic. Dozens of people fell violently ill in the Dominican Republic during a trip in April this year, according to recent news reports. “Four or five days we were having a good time but then by the middle of the week people were beginning to get sick,” a travel agent for the Jimmy Buffet Fan Club by the name of Dana Flowers tells local media.
Members of a Jimmy Buffet fan club, known as the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association, suffered an unexplained and inexpected illness back in April while staying at the Punta Cana’s Hotel Riu Palace Macao in the Dominican Republic. According to a participant, the group was so sick that most members were unable to leave their room for most of the vacation. “I can’t even explain how sick I was,” says Dana Flowers, the Jimmy Buffet Fan Club agent.
These latest reports only add to the concerns engendered by the recent deaths of tourists in the Dominican Republic. Indeed, in the last two weeks, the deaths at at least 7 American tourists in the Dominican Republic have come to light. The US authorities announced that they will investigate if the deaths are related.
Dominican Republic is one of the preferred tourist destinations in America. Annually, more than six million people visit the island and of these, about half of them come from the United States. However, things might soon change as in the last week at least 7 Americans have died in strange circumstances during their vacation on the island.
Given the similarities of their deaths, their relatives have suggested that there is a relationship between them and have raised suspicions about the resorts in which they died. On the other hand, US authorities are trying to decipher what is behind these deaths, but the answers are equally confusing. In fact, it is striking that the deaths have occurred not only in one hotel, but in several.
Leila Cox, 53, was the latest victim of this mysterious episode. The woman died on Tuesday in Punta Cana after telling her son that she felt sick. Nausea and dizziness were the symptoms she suffered from before her death.
William, the son of the woman, said that the family always opposed the trip since in the last weeks other deaths of tourists in the Dominican Republic had come to light. But the woman ignored the warnings and traveled there anyway.
Thus, the death of Cox only adds to other mysterious deaths of Americans on the island.
Miranda Schaup-Werner, 41, booked a room with her husband at the Bahia Principe Bouganville Luxury hotel. She lost consciousness the same day she arrived, after leaving the balcony. Neither her husband nor the hotel’s medical team could revive her.
Cynthia Day, 49, and Edward Holmes, 63, who were staying at an adjacent hotel, Grand Bahia Principe La Romana, also died died mysteriously. The staff found the Maryland couple dead in their room on May 30.
In April of this year, Robert Wallace felt bad at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana, where he was staying to attend a wedding, and passed away. The family of the 67-year-old man said he began to feel bad after drinking whiskey from the hotel’s minibar.
The four victims died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema, according to the local prosecutor’s office. Schaup-Werner also suffered a cardiac arrest. However, Tourism Minister Francisco Javier García said last week that over the last five years, more than thirty million tourists have visited the country, and said that these deaths were “isolated incidents” and that the island was Safe for tourists.
“These are situations that can happen in any country, in any hotel in the world,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but it usually happens.”
However, these deaths have focused attention on other deaths of Americans in recent years that have already occurred in tourist complexes on the island and that have so far gone unnoticed.
Yvette Monique Short said on a Philadelphia television station that her 51-year-old sister died in June last year at a hotel in Bahia Principe after drinking a drink from the minibar in the room. Two other deaths that occurred last year also gained relevance, although in this case they were at the Punta Cana resort, at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Robert Wallace, a 67-year-old Californian, died on April 14, 2018 after drinking a whiskey from the minibar, his niece told Fox News. “He started to feel very sick, he had blood in his urine and stool,” she explained.
Three months later, in July 2018, David Harrison, 45, died in the same complex. At first his widow, Dawn McCoy, accepted that he had died of a heart attack but now questions arise. “When the cases of these people began to pass, I stopped and thought, ‘How can they all have the same cause of death as David?'” McCoy told The Washington Post.
Steven Bullock, a lawyer for the Day family, said that the autopsies of Cynthia Day and Edward Holmessus will be carried out in the United States.
When asked about contacts with the police and the Dominican authorities, Bullock said that “they have been very, very difficult. It seems we are not getting anything (from the police), we have some journalists on the ground who are helping us gather information,” he told journalists.
Kaylynn Knull and Tom Schwander, a couple originally from Colorado, told CNN that they suffered from headaches, abdominal cramps and diarrhea after smelling a strong smell of chemicals at the La Romana hotel in June 2018.
According to tests that were carried out on their return home, they could have been exposed to pesticides used against ants and cockroaches. The couple, who filed a complaint in this regard, believes that the product was spread through the air conditioning system.