WEST HOLLYWOOD—West Hollywood resident Ryan Duff traveled to the Dominican Republic in February 2019 to attend a wedding and managed to avoid serious illness, which has impacted a number of Americans in previous weeks.
A total of nine American tourists have mysteriously died in the last 12 months upon traveling to the Dominican Republic. A number of them note the deadly symptoms derived upon drinking from hotel minibars.
ABC 7 News spoke to Duff and his husband Jose Gomez, about their experience in the Dominican Republic. “The night of the wedding, I stopped off at the room before the reception and had a drink from the minibar,” said Duff.
Gomez noted that the mini bar’s bottles weren’t sealed at the hotel where they were staying. They were simply large bottles held over from guest to guest. “We don’t know who was drinking from it before,” said Gomez.
When Duff started to feel alarming symptoms at the wedding ceremony, he headed back to the hotel and within a half hour, his fever spiked to 104.5 degrees.
“Really, you don’t have those types of temperatures unless something is really wrong,” said Gomez. Duff visited the hospital and was discharged after his tests came back negative.
Similar stories are coming out to the public. A Colorado couple, Kaylynn Knull and Tom Schwander are suing the owners of the Grand Bahia Principe resort, claiming that they got sick at the hotel.
The couple’s symptoms were so severe they booked a flight the morning after a sleepless night of discomfort, sweats, and fever. Unlike Duff’s test results, Knull and Schwander’s tests revealed that were diagnosed with poisoning from organophosphate, which are chemicals found in insecticides. The couple’s lawsuit is seeking $1 million in damages.
Ministry of Health, Communications Director Carlos Suero told CNN on Wednesday that samples taken from at least one minibar in a Dominican Republic hotel have been taken to toxicology laboratories.