More Oklahomans Report Illness After Trip To Dominican Republic
A group of Oklahomans are recovering after returning from a trip to the Dominican Republic weeks ago.
Dana Flowers said out of a group of 114 he led on a trip to the island, 47 of them got severely ill with symptoms including diarrhea, fever, vomiting, headaches and body aches.
“We are just calling it a mystery. It’s very mysterious to us,” Flowers said. “We would love to know what it was, but we may never know.”
Flowers himself got sick on the trip, losing nearly 15 pounds, cooped up in his resort room. He said the group mostly stayed on resort grounds in Punta Cona and only ventured out for a boating day trip – making sure not to eat or drink anything prepared off-site.
“We couldn’t pin it down. We tried, and said ‘what did you have?’ There just didn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to anything we ate or did,” he said.
One person on the trip from Nebraska tested positive for salmonella after visiting her doctor this week. She said the CDC followed up with her after the diagnosis.
“I never would have gone,” the woman told News 9. “This has been miserable. I wouldn’t go again and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.”
The Oklahoma State Health Department said knowing the country you are traveling to is key when going abroad.
“There may be specific vaccinations that are recommended based on your destination and you’ll want to do that ahead of time because it will take four to six weeks to get into a travel clinic and receive those appropriate vaccinations so they can be protective during your travel,” state epidemiologist Lawrence Burnsed said.
Even with this experience, the group already has another trip scheduled together for next year.
“It hasn’t scared anyone off yet, but we won't be going back to Punta Cona, let me put it that way,” Flowers said.