PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic – About half of the members of a Jimmy Buffett fan club from Oklahoma who traveled to the Dominican Republic in April became ill, confirmed the group's travel agent.
Dana Flowers, a member of the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association, is also the group's travel agent. He said that about 54 of the 114 visitors who stayed at the Riu Palace Macau in Punta Cana became ill during the trip.
"It was headaches, vomiting, fever, diarrhea, severe diarrhea, chills and fever, that sort of thing," said Flowers. "By the third day, we noticed that some people were not participating in the events we had planned and we realized that people were getting sick."
He said that at that time, visitors simply assumed that it was "food poisoning or something of the sort."
"The common point with all those who got sick is that they swam in the pool and / or that they drank a drink at the bar," Flowers said. "So, he could be linked to this pool."
Two members of the group tested positive for salmonella on their return home after consulting a doctor, he said.
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A Nebraska woman who attended the trip was tested positive for salmonella last Wednesday, which is the third known case of infection.
"She is sick and she has diarrhea every day since we came back," Flowers said.
The case of the woman was entrusted to the CDC, "and they intensified her tests to see if they can determine a cause," he said.
"Personally, I think it has something to do with the pesticides or insecticides used around the complex or with the chemicals they use in the pool," Flowers said. "These are just my own thoughts and theories about it. Also diseases of food origin too. "
Everyone from the trip has now recovered, with the exception of the woman still suffering from salmonella, according to Flowers.
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The CDC and the FBI are investigating in the Dominican Republic, and Flowers "is just waiting to see what they determine," he said.
"If they decide some kind of negligence, we'll go from there to see if any action needs to be taken," said the travel agent.
The Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association, which serves the Oklahoma City metropolitan area, is a chapter of the Parrot Heads in Paradise national organization.
"None of the PHiP board members were present, so we are not qualified to comment," said Sue Kermis,
Director of PHIP members.
The hotel Riu Palace Macau and the representatives of Jimmy Buffett did not immediately respond to comment.
The news of the group falling ill was announced during the year when several tourists were reported to have died in the Dominican Republic.
This story has been reported in Los Angeles.