Dozens of Jimmy Buffet fans who fell sick in Dominican Republic tested positive for salmonella, claims group member
One Buffet fan, Dana Flowers, said that he got so sick that he lost 14 pounds and was unable to leave his room at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana
Dozens of members of a Jimmy Buffet fan club from Oklahoma reportedly fell ill during a trip to the Dominican Republic in April, the same country where at least seven other American tourists have lost their lives under mysterious circumstances.
One Buffet fan, Dana Flowers, said that he got so sick that he lost 14 pounds and was unable to leave his room at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana.
Flowers, a local travel agent from Oklahoma City, traveled to Punta Cana as part of the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association, a group of Buffet fanatics from the Tulsa and Oklahoma City region.
"Four or five days we were having a good time but then, by the middle of the week, people were beginning to get sick. Out of those 114 people, 47 got sick there," he told KFOR-TV. He also mentioned that another member of their entourage died after going to another hotel.
According to Flowers, at the time of their trip, nobody knew that it was the beginning of a rash of strange incidents involving American tourists. "We had no idea when we were there that all this was going on," Flowers said. He further revealed that local doctors in the area think its the work of a parasite.
Although Flowers tested negative for salmonella, others in the group tested positive. He believes that people in the group got sick either from something they drank at the swim-up pool bar or from swimming in the pool. He added that he's just thankful that nobody died.
"I will not be going back to the Dominican any time soon," he said.
Flowers' story comes after a 53-year-old woman from New York, Leyla Cox of New Brighton, became the latest American tourist to die in the Dominican Republic which is one of the top Caribbean tourist destinations for US travelers.
Cox had gone on vacation to the Dominican Republic on June 5 and was due to return on June 12.
Cox, who has traveled alone before, was discovered dead in her hotel room after suffering from a heart attack, the Staten Island Advance reported.
A State Department official confirmed, "We can confirm the death of U.S. citizen Leyla Cox in the Dominican Republic on June 11."
It is reported that, so far, at least six American tourists have died under mysterious but similar circumstances; four people died this year while two died last year. All the people were healthy when they left the US to go to the Caribbean country.