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Influenza Ruled Out, CDC, WHO and MOH Continue to Investigate the Mysterious Illness

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services has clarified details regarding the tragic deaths of two United States citizens Mr David Paul, 37; Mrs Michelle Calanog Paul, 35 who arrived in Fiji on Wednesday the 22nd of May.

While the investigations into the cause of death are ongoing, MInistry of Health, Centre for Disease Control and World Health organization has ruled out Influenza as the cause of the death of two US couple.

Ministry of Health says at this stage we do not believe there is any risk to the public.

“It would be premature to speculate further on the cause of death until the investigation is complete.”

The authorities continue to monitor a small number of staff and health workers who came into close contact with the deceased couple.

All are close contact personnel are currently well.

The Ministry is coordinating with the US Embassy in Fiji and working closely with the Fiji Police Force’s forensics department, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to determine the cause of death, with these organizations providing technical support.

Earlier story:

A mysterious virus has been said to have taken life of two tourist while visiting in Fiji.

David and Michelle Paul were supposed to be on the trip of a lifetime, halfway around the world in Fiji. But the Fort Worth couple died suddenly and unexpectedly, and their family back in the U.S. is now coping with a tragic loss.

David Paul, an Air Force veteran, and his wife Michelle were raising a 2-year-old son in Fort Worth. The couple took a holiday in Fiji where they faced a mysterious virus which United States Centre of Disease Control, Ministry of Health Fiji and the World Health Organization have not been able to identify yet.,

While speaking to WFAA TV, the family said that the couple, who loved to travel, tried to get away on trips with just each other annually and had been planning a journey to Fiji for some time.

“They were planning an amazing vacation,” said Tracey Calanog, sister-in-law to the couple through her husband, who is Michelle Paul’s brother.

Calanog said the day before they were scheduled to return home to the U.S., relatives got the call.

“They knew something was going on in their body and were able to get to the hospital,” Calanog said.

While the cause of death remains under investigation, family said that early indications point to some type of virus that was strong enough to debilitate two healthy, young people, David who was a Former Air Force member and Michelle, a former student athlete.  

“Very physically fit. Former Air Force. Former student-athlete,” Calanog said in an Skype interview with WFAA TV .

Michelle Paul apparently died first. There were plans to transport David to Australia for further treatment, but he died before that could happen.

A U.S. Department of State official confirmed the deaths of Michelle and David Paul in Fiji and offered condolences to the family. They are monitoring the investigation by local authorities.

When the WFAA tried to reach, the U.S. Embassy in Fiji by phone, the Embassy did not comment on the Pauls’ death specifically, but said that the government there had been warning of a dangerous flu season that is just hitting the region.

According to a report by the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, police have confirmed an illness caused the couple’s deaths. The report says further testing on the remains will be done overseas. 

Calanog said the couple’s remains cannot be returned to the United States until a cause of death is determined. If it was an infectious disease, their bodies will have to be cremated.

David Paul was a Lockehead Martin Engineer by profession.

Meanwhile, five Fijian citizens are under observation by MOH Fiji, WHO and CDC after the five showed symptoms of unknown illness.

The locals are believed to be two security guard, two medical staff where Mr and Mrs Paul were seen and a Police Officer.

The subject Denarau property has know been known to have been vacated as investigations surrounding the mystery illness continue.

A week later since the conception of the illness, there are no indications on what the mystery illness was.

Mrs Paul died 3 days after arriving in Fiji on 25th of May, while Mr Paul died in Lautoka Hospital on May 28th.

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