High school graduates fall ill during trip to Dominican Republic

Sara M Moniuszko

A group of high school graduates are the latest group to fall victim to illness in the Dominican Republic, according to local CBS-affiliate KOTV and local ABC-affiliate KOCO

A group of 40 graduating seniors and their parents from Deer Creek High School in Edmond, Oklahoma, were on a trip to the Caribbean vacation destination when at least five members became ill, the news sites report.

One of the parents, Liz McLaughlin told KOTV that her daughter was one of the students to get sick on June 11 after eating at a Japanese restaurant at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, where the group was staying. 

"We just don’t know what is happening," she said. "Is it the water? Is it the ice? Is it the food? Is it the food handling? Is it the pesticides? We have no idea what’s going on."

The Dominican Republic has made headlines recently for several tourist deaths and other concerning incidents, including reported illnesses.

In April, a group of Jimmy Buffett fans, members of the Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association, told Oklahoma TV station KFOR and NBC News that they became seriously ill while staying at the Hotel Riu Palace Macao in Punta Cana.

Deer Creek student Bennet Hill recounted his experience to KOCO, saying he and the other sick students were taken to the hospital.

"I just woke up, and my stomach was cramping and I was sweating, but I was freezing," he said. "We've been hooked up to IVs since we first got (to the hospital) with antibiotics, just getting hydrated, anti-nausea medicine, just all this stuff because we were just so dehydrated."

Dominican Republic deaths: What we know, including two more US tourists incidents

More: New Jersey man dies vacationing in Dominican Republic, family and State Department confirm

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: High school graduates fall ill during trip to Dominican Republic