Dozens of Jimmy Buffett fans get sick on group trip to Dominican Republic

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PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic– Nearly 50 members of a Jimmy Buffet fan group became violently ill during a trip to the Dominican Republic, according to People Magazine.

The Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association stayed at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao in April. Of the 114 people on the trip, 47 got so sick they couldn’t leave their hotel rooms.

Dana Flowers, a member of the group and its travel agent, said people experienced diarrhea, vomiting, dizziness and headaches. He told People Magazine some on the trip did not feel normal for months.

The doctor at the resort treated them with fluids and prescribed medication for parasites.

Two people tested positive for salmonella once they returned home, Flowers said.

In a statement, the Hotel Riu Palace Macao said the guests became ill after a group activity outside the hotel so they could not determine the exact cause.

Over the past year, at least eight Americans have died while on vacation in the Dominican Republic.

“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 earlier this month. “These are isolated incidents and the Dominican Republic is a safe destination.”

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