What we know about American tourists’ deaths and illnesses in the Dominican Republic

Reporting by Mola Lenghi, Jose Diaz Jr., Russell Midori, Alyssa Estrada 

Since the start of the year, at least 10 American tourists have died while vacationing in the Dominican Republic, and questions are also being raised about several more deaths in 2018. Some of the deaths reportedly occurred after the visitors complained of feeling ill after eating a meal or drinking out of the hotel minibar. The U.S. embassy in Santo Domingo said there is no proof at this point the deaths are linked.CBS News spoke on June 18 with César Duvernay, a spokesperson for the Dominican Republic’s foreign ministry, who said the cases are isolated out of more than 6 million tourists, and that this doesn’t mean the country is unsafe. He noted that the government has a special body focused on tourism safety, with protocols in place that have not changed.
Several of the deaths were reported to be a heart attack, which health officials say is the most common cause of death for Americans on vacation. CBS News can confirm that attorneys for the families of Nathaniel Edward Holmes and Cynthia Ann Day, who died on May 30, have ordered independent autopsies “to get to the bottom of what’s happening.” The Washington Post reported last week that the family of Cynthia Schaup-Werner, who died on May 25, is awaiting an independent investigation in the U.S, as well. Here is what we know so far about the recent deaths of Americans vacationing in the Dominican Republic. Jerry CurranAge 78. From Bedford, Ohio.Died on Jan. 26, 2019 at the Dreams Resort in Punta Cana.Curran died three days after arriving in the Dominican Republic with his wife. His daughter told WKYC-TV, “He went to the Dominican Republic healthy and he just never came back.” His daughter said Curran fell ill after dinner and drinks the night of his arrival and that his cause of death includes pulmonary edema, or fluid in the lungs, which is listed the cause of death for at least three other Americans in the Dominican Republic this year.Tracy Jerome Jester Jr.