Concern has grown over the mysterious deaths of American tourists at hotels in the Dominican Republic after a sixth fatality was announced, the New York Post reported.
What makes the string of deaths particularly disturbing is that many appear to follow a similar pattern in that they involve healthy, middle-aged adults who took a drink from their hotel room minibar before suddenly becoming gravely sick.
Although the cause of death of the latest fatality, 67-year-old Robert Bell Wallace, of California, has not yet been determined, his niece told Fox News that he felt ill shortly after drinking scotch from the minibar in his room at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the Dominican resort town of Punta Cana before dying in a hospital three days later.
At the same hotel last July another American tourist, 45-year-old David Harrison, of Maryland, died under similar circumstances.
And over a five-day period just last month, three others tourists mysteriously died in their rooms at another Dominican resort.
Those three deaths made headlines and put a spotlight on what now appears to be a yearlong pattern, according to the New York Post.
A team of experts from the US Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization has since traveled to the hotels and is conducting tests at the resort where the three died.
Despite more tourists canceling their vacation plans to the island and various theories as to what is causing the deaths, Dominican Republic Tourism Minister Francisco Garcia insisted at a press conference last week that the country had received more than 30 million visitors in the last five years without any widespread concerns about health issues at its resorts.
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