Argentine teen, Candela Saccone goes into a coma while visiting the Dominican Republic raising concerns her illness is related to a spate of recent US traveler deaths?
It couldn’t have happened at a worse time for local Dominican Republic authorities.
A teenage girl from Argentina went into a coma while vacationing in the idyllic holiday getaway island, with doctors pointing to a life-threatening diabetic condition — even though her family says she has no history of diabetes. A state of affairs which left the Health Ministry reeling (yet again) in the latest episode of unexplained illnesses and deaths.
Candela Saccone, 15, had been scheduled to return home from Punta Cana on June 19 after traveling there earlier in the week, but the girl reportedly got sick that morning.
Her mother, Natalia Knetch, told CNN’s Spanish-language news channel that she rushed the teen — who was displaying symptoms of dizziness, dehydration and vomiting — to a local medical center, where doctors diagnosed her with diabetic cetoacidosis.
The condition is described online by the Mayo Clinic as a ‘serious complication of diabetes that occurs when your body produces high levels of blood acids called ketones.’ It normally develops ‘when your body can’t produce enough insulin,’ the clinic says.
Which cuts to the immediate question is one 15 yer old girl’s sudden draconian illness related to what’s been causing a series of US traveler deaths and illnesses and where might be there a medical correlation?
Candela’s condition puts Argentine officials on high alert:
Candela was reportedly transported from Punta Cana to the General Hospital of the Plaza de la Salud in Santo Domingo — with Argentine officials claiming that the initial medical center ‘did not have sufficient equipment to treat her.’ Hardly a good sign and another demerit for the DR which continues to plummet in the status of preferred holiday destination.
Of question is when the Argentine went into the coma, with CNN reporting the teen was still unconscious and in critical condition on Tuesday, yet stable and showing signs of improvement.
Noted the nypost: ‘The Argentine foreign ministry confirmed the details of Candela’s situation with the network on Monday. Her mother said Candela had suddenly gotten sick the night before their departure. She reportedly lost her appetite and was suffering from extreme discomfort in her throat — to the point where she couldn’t swallow, her mom said.’
Dominican Republic Health Ministry rushes to respond: ‘Please Mr Media don’t make this our fault again.’
Enter the Dominican Republic Health Ministry on an urgent mission to save its soon to be nascent tourism industry.
Told the Health Minister, Health minister Rafael Sánchez Cárdenas via CBS News, ‘everything is under control in a high-quality hospital center.’
Asked if the recent spate of US traveler deaths and illnesses were related, Cárdenas insisted the cases were unrelated.
But what did you really expect him to say?
‘What do we have here? Tourists who arrive with preexisting conditions and die in this country as they do in all countries,’ Cárdenas educated baffled CBS News viewers on Monday through a translator.
So just a fluke? Just another coincidence? Does it ever stop? Are you still booking your tickets to the DR?
Of note the FBI continues to investigate whether any of the reported deaths are linked. Agents have been running toxicology tests on resort minibars to see if tainted alcohol is possibly to blame. They’ve honed in on at least three cases — all of which involved tourists dying at the popular Bahia Principe hotel chain.
So far, at least 11 people have died in the past year while vacationing in the DR. Dozens more have gotten sick.
Dominican Republic or bust ….?