47 People Allege They Got Violently Sick in the Dominican Republic

Things in the Dominican Republic are getting a bit out of hand


Photo: Unsplash/@joelcasilla

Things in the Dominican Republic are getting a bit out of hand. American tourists are dying while on vacation. In the past year, nine tourists have died — and while that may not seem like a lot, it’s the way they’re dying that’s become a cause for concern. According to reports, some tourists have died from fluid in their lungs after drinking from the mini bar. Now an entire group of travelers got violently sick, but this story seems a bit odd.

A group of people from Oklahoma on vacation to see the singer Jimmy Buffet in the Dominican Republic report they got sick with “extreme diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, and headaches.” The group of 114 were on the island in April and 47 of them report to have been so sick they couldn’t leave their hotel rooms.

“We went [to Hotel Riu Palace Macao] for the week — some longer, some shorter,” Dana Flowers, the travel agent that set up the trip said to People magazine. “We were enjoying the beach and the pool, and about three or four days into the trip we started hearing about people getting sick. They were getting diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness, headaches.”

He says some still don’t feel normal two months later. What’s a bit weird about this story is that Flowers claims he had extreme weight loss. He alleges that he lost 14 pounds in 19 days. Okay, now that seems drastic.

“It was some of the worst sick I’ve ever been, and I don’t normally ever get sick,” Flowers told the magazine.

That kind of weight loss is beyond extreme, and we’re surprised he didn’t go to the hospital due to the dehydration. The hotel responded to these claims and 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.”

The FBI is looking into matters in the Dominican Republic, and tourism officials say that it’s safe to travel there.

“In the last five years, over 30 million tourists have visited the Dominican Republic, but this is the first time the international media report such an alarming situation,” Tourism Minister Francisco Javier Garcia said this month to CNN. “These are isolated incidents, and the Dominican Republic is a safe destination.”

We have a feeling that some people who travel there, knowing there are reported cases of people getting sick, might playing into that in order to get free accommodations or even worse, sue the resorts. We’re hoping investigators get to the bottom of all this soon.

In this Article

Dominican Republic travel
More on this topic