Mystery over seven students falling ill while on school trip

A group of high school graduates had to be rushed to hospital after mysteriously falling ill while on holiday at a luxury beach resort.

A group of 40 former students of Deer Creek High School, in Oklahoma, flew to the Dominican Republic’s Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Punta Cana on June 8.

But after a day of relaxing at the beach and at the resort, seven members of the group had to be rushed to the hospital all with the same mysterious symptoms.

They had earlier dined at the resort’s Japanese restaurant Zen, but were unsure of what caused them to fall ill so rapidly, the mother of group member Libby told KOTV’s News On 6.

The group of seven students fell ill while staying at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana. Source: Google Maps/Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

“We just don’t know what is happening. Is it the water? Is it the ice? Is it the food? Is it the food handling? Is it the pesticides?,” Liz McLaughlin said.

Another member of the group recalled suffering severe symptoms the morning after eating the Japanese food.

“I just woke up, and my stomach was cramping and I was sweating. I was freezing,” Bennet Hill told news broadcaster KOCO.

“We’ve been hooked up to IVs since we first got here with antibiotics, just getting hydrated.”

Libby McLaughlin was one of the seven students to become sick. Source: News on 6
The group said they became sick after dining at a Japanese restaurant inside the resort. Source: Google Maps/Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

A Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana spokesperson said the resort had taken immediate corrective action following news the group had become ill, the New York Post reported.

“Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana is disappointed regarding a recent situation in which a group of guests became ill after dining at one of our twelve venues,” a statement said.

“As the safety and health of our guests is now, and has always been our highest priority, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Punta Cana is regretful that we did not achieve the extremely high standards we set for ourselves.”

Nine tourists from the United States have died during trips to the Dominican Republic within the past year, according to BBC.

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