American couple's mystery deaths in Fiji investigated

World | 4 Jun 2019 4:21 pm

Fiji is investigating the cause of the sudden deaths of two U.S. tourists in the resort island of Denarau over the weekend, according to a statement by the Ministry of Health, Xinhua reports.

Fiji's health authorities are working together with the Fijian police, the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United States Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on the cause of the sudden deaths.

The U.S. couple is 38-year-old David James Paul, a Lockheed Martin engineer, and his wife, 35-year-old Jane Michelle Canalog Paul. The couple, originally from Fort Worth, a city in the U.S. state of Texas, arrived in Denarau Island on May 22.

The wife died on May 25 at the clinic on Denarau Island and husband died on May 28 at a hospital in Lautoka, the second largest city in Fiji.

The couple were sick during their holiday on the island, the ministry said, adding that although they were provided medical treatment, they died after the illnesses progressively deteriorated.

According to local media, the couple's family said early indications point to some type of virus that was strong enough to debilitate their health.

Five locals, believed to be in direct contact with the couple, are now under observation at the hospital in Nadi, Fiji's third largest city. The two security guards, two medical staff and a police officer are said to have shown symptoms similar to those of the U.S. couple before their deaths.

According to reports, more than 10 staff members from the Denarau Island Hotel were told to take paid vacations, including duty managers, housekeepers and porters.

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