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Dozens of Jimmy Buffett fans fall ill in Dominican Republic

Chris Pastrick
1304061_web1_ptr-JimmyBA-061819
AP
Dozens of fans of singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett recently fell ill while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

The list of people who have fallen ill while in the Dominican Republic keeps growing.

The latest tally comes from a group of Jimmy Buffett fans — members of the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association.

Oklahoma news station KFOR talked with Dana Flowers, a member of the group, who said people got sick while staying at Punta Cana’s Hotel Riu Palace Macao in April.

“Four or five days we were having a good time, but then by the middle of the week people were beginning to get sick,” Flowers said. “Out of those 114 people, 47 got sick there.”

Some, he said, weren’t even able to leave their rooms they were so ill.

“Lost 14 pounds during that time and was really sick,” Flowers said. “I can’t even explain how sick I was.”

Flowers said when the illnesses happened, none of them were aware of the rash of incidents happening there. Since the summer of 2018, the U.S. State Department confirmed to People magazine that at least six Americans have died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic.

Flowers told People that the members of his group that got sick either swam in a specific pool or drank from the swim-up bar.

When they sought medical aid, Flowers told People, “Most of them got an IV, then were prescribed a medicine for parasites. (They) didn’t do any testing, they just automatically gave them medicine for parasites.”

A spokesperson for the Hotel Riu Palace Macao told People: “We are aware that three guests staying last April at this hotel and coming from the same group … were attended by a possible case of gastroenteritis in our doctor’s office. These events occurred after an external activity of this group outside the hotel, so we can not determine the exact origin of the stomach upset. … No more similar cases were registered by other guests during the indicated date above.”

Upon returning to the United States, Flowers told KFOR he tested negative for salmonella. However, some in the group tested positive.

Flowers told KFOR the group was made up of members from Oklahoma City and Tulsa, as well as from other places across the country.

Chris Pastrick is a Tribune-Review digital producer. You can contact Chris at 412-320-7898, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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