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Mysterious Illness Kills US Couple on Vacation

CDC is assisting authorities in Fiji
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2019 5:49 AM CDT
Mystery Illness Kills American Couple in Fiji
Five people who came into contact with the couple are now under observation at a hospital in Nadi, Fiji.   (Wikimedia Commons/Henning Blatt)

David and Michelle Paul, a healthy, fit American couple in their 30s, went on a dream vacation to Fiji and never came back. The residents of Fort Worth, Texas, died suddenly from an illness that still hasn't been identified, WFAA reports. Sister-in-law Tracy Calanog tells the station that they called days before they were due to return to the US. "They knew something was going on in their body and were able to get to the hospital," she says. The couple, who liked to get away once a year on trips where it was just the two of them, had left their 2-year-old son and David's daughter from a previous relationship in the US. Authorities say Michelle Paul, 35, died on May 25 at a clinic in Fiji and David Paul, a 38-year-old Air Force veteran, died in a hospital three days later.

Calanog says there were plans to bring David to Australia for treatment, but he died before he could be moved. She says officials have told her the bodies can't be returned to the US until a cause of death is determined. A US Embassy spokeswoman in Fiji tells People that the embassy "has facilitated contact between the US Centers for Disease Control and Fiji's Ministry of Health to ascertain the causes of death and to assist in any related measures." Five people believed to have had direct contact with the couple are now under observation at a hospital in Nadi, Fiji, the Fiji Sun reports. Another 10 people from the Denarau Island property where they stayed have been told to go on leave. (Authorities have determined what killed a US couple in the Dominican Republic.)

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