British tourist says Dominican Republic resort's 'soapy' mojitos made her violently sick
A woman from across the Atlantic Ocean said her stay at a Dominican Republic resort last August made her extremely ill.
British tourist Karin Kidd told the Sun on Monday that she was vacationing with her daughter at the Luxury Bahia Principe Resort Bouganville La Romana when they noticed other guests exhibiting flu-like symptoms. Though Kidd did not specify whether the other resort guests had fallen sick after consuming drinks or using hotel amenities, she said she and her daughter had a couple of drinks at the resort's pool bar during the first few days of their trip and felt fine.
Two days before Kidd was set to fly back home, however, she noticed one of her mojitos tasted "soapy."
"I couldn’t bear the taste, so I stopped drinking them completely," she said. "I assumed they had cleaned the machines with a chemical cleaner or something."
Following the episode, Kidd reportedly spent the rest of her trip in her room.
"I had terrible diarrhea for the next two days at the resort, which continued for the week when I got back to the U.K.," she told The Sun. "I don't want to be graphic, but I was very, very unwell ... there was orange diarrhea."
Kidd said that when she returned home in Oxford, the symptoms purportedly persisted. She called her brother, a doctor, who told her that she may have had chlorine in her drink. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, exposure to chlorine can lead to blurred vision, coughing, chest tightness, nausea and fluid in the lungs.
"It's amazing for such a posh resort how many people were sick during the week I was there," Kidd said. "It was really, really weird."
A year after Kidd's incident, three other American tourists died at the same resort. On May 25, Miranda Schaup-Werner, a 41-year-old psychotherapist from Pennsylvania, was vacationing with her husband when she collapsed after having a drink. She had allegedly cried out to her husband for help.
"She started shrieking and she dropped to the floor," the couple's spokesman explained. "He attempted to do CPR, he tried to resuscitate her."
Dominican authorities later determined that Schaup, who was diagnosed with inflammation around her heart 15 years ago, died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.
Five days later, Maryland couple Edward Nathaniel Holmes, 63, and Cynthia Day, 49, of Prince George's County, Md., were found dead in their room at the same resort by an employee after they didn't check out. Dominican police reportedly discovered bottles of medicine used to treat high blood pressure in the couple's room and concluded that the pair had also died of respiratory failure and pulmonary edema.
Relatives of both American victims, however, have suspected foul play, and the FBI is currently looking into the deaths.
Other tourists who have died under similarly mysterious circumstances in the past year include New Yorker Donette Edge Cannon, Pennsylvania woman Yvette Monique Sport, Maryland resident David Harrison, Californian Robert Wallace, Ohio resident Jerry Curran, California resident Robert Turlock, New York resident Leyla Cox, New Jersey resident Joseph Allen, Denver resident Khalid Adkins and Georgia resident Tracy Jerome Jester Jr.
Dominican Republic officials have since taken steps to address concerns over the country's safety.
"The capacity for hotel inspections is being doubled to ensure strict compliance with food and beverage regulations and environmental standards," said a spokesperson for Minister of Tourism Francisco Javier Garcia. "Medical offices within hotel facilities and the professional qualifications of its doctors and staff will be scrutinized and verified."