Something strange seems to be going on in the Dominican Republic.
There are now reports of yet another American tourist dying in the Caribbean country, bringing the death count to thirteen in less than a year.
31-year-old Jerome Jester Jr., a resident of Forsyth, Georgia, took a vacation with his sister to the Dominican Republican early this year.
On March 17, after spending the previous day sightseeing, the otherwise healthy Jester suddenly became ill. Showing signs of respiratory distress, an ambulance was called.
Then, according to his sister, who spoke to ABC News this week: “He just dropped to his knees and started throwing up blood, and was calling for Mama.”
The ambulance finally did arrive, and it took Jester to the hospital. But, despite the efforts of the medical personnel, he died.
A tainted refreshment?
Although few details have been released about the incident, Melody Moore did speak to her son just the day before he died. At that point, everything seemed fine, but Jester did tell his mother that he drank a soda which did not taste right.
Whether or not this drink has anything to do with Jester’s death remains unclear. But he is not the only American tourist with such a story.
Vittorio Caruso, for example, was another of the 13 Americans to have died who was reported to have become ill after drinking something.
The rising death count
The obvious question is whether the thirteen deaths are related. Thus far, Dominican officials have denied this.
“It’s all a hysteria against the Dominican Republic, to hurt our tourism, this is a very competitive industry and we get millions of tourists, we are a popular destination,” said one official from the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Public Health. “People are taking aim at us.”
With the rising death count, however, the FBI has joined in the investigation in order to help get to the bottom of this. Until they do, it might be best to find a different vacation spot.