Fiji rules out influenza as cause of deaths of U.S. tourists

Source: Xinhua| 2019-06-05 13:54:25|Editor: Yurou
Video PlayerClose

SUVA, June 5 (Xinhua) -- Fiji's health authorities ruled out on Wednesday any influenza virus as causing the sudden tragic deaths of two U.S. tourists David Paul, 37 and Michelle Calanog Paul, 35, who arrived in Fiji for a holiday on May 22, this year.

In a government statement on Wednesday, the Fijian authorities said investigations into the cause of deaths was ongoing as health authorities said influenza had been ruled out, and at this stage they did not believe there is any risk to the public.

The statement said monitoring of the small number of staff and health workers who came into close contact with the deceased couple was conducted, and as a precaution remains ongoing.

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

The couple, originally from Fort Worth, a city in the U.S. state of Texas, arrived on Denarau Island on May 22.

The wife died on May 25 at the clinic on Denarau Island and the 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.

While conducting investigations into the possible causes of their deaths, the ministry has also put necessary public health measures in place.

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.

Fijian police confirmed that the U.S. couple had a long history of globetrotting. They visited Australia and New Zealand before coming to Fiji.