PUNTA CANA, DR (WTVO) – Dozens of people part of a Jimmy Buffett fan group who traveled to the Dominican Republic reportedly got sick with a mysterious illness while on vacation.
According to KFOR, 47 of the 114 people on the trip developed symptoms after drinking from the swim-up pool bar or swimming up to the swim-up pool at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana.
The people were traveling with the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association.
Dana Flowers told KFOR many of the travel-goers were so sick they couldn’t leave their hotel rooms.
“Lost 14 pounds during that time and was really sick,” he said. “I can’t even explain how sick I was.”
Recent reports indicate there could be a link between minibar drinks and the recent deaths of several American tourists on vacation in the Dominican Republic.
The U.S. State Department and family members have confirmed the deaths of at least 7 American citizens in the Dominican Republic in the last year.
About 6.5 million tourists visited the Dominican Republic last year, more than any other Caribbean nation, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
The United States accounted for 2.2 million of those tourists — more than any other country in the region.