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Ministry of Health: American Couple Did Not Die Of Infectious Disease

Through continued collaboration with the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), further tests are being conducted to determine a cause of death, and family will be updated as further developments unfold.
20 Jun 2019 16:15
Ministry of Health: American Couple Did Not Die Of Infectious Disease
The late David James Paul and his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul.

The Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MOHMS) is providing an update regarding the tragic deaths of two United States citizens who arrived in Fiji on Wednesday the 22nd of May.

Following an extensive, multi-organisational investigation, the Fijian Government has informed the family that an infectious cause of death has officially been ruled out.

To reach this conclusion, a number of investigations were conducted by the Ministry and its multinational partners, including post-mortem examinations, toxicology, microscopic examination of tissues, and a number of laboratory investigations to exclude a wide range of viral and bacterial causes.

Through continued collaboration with the United States’ Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), further tests are being conducted to determine a cause of death, and family will be updated as further developments unfold.

Given these findings, the MOHMS is confident that there is no risk to the public. The five contacts/staff placed under precautionary observation are in good health and have all returned to work.

On behalf of the Minister, the Fijian Government, and the people of Fiji, the Ministry wishes to once again express its deepest condolences to the family for their tragic and heart-breaking loss.

The Ministry also wishes to thank the organizations involved in the investigation for their comprehensive support and assistance: the aforementioned CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO), WHO’s partners the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) and Collaborating Centre, the Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL), the Fiji Police Force’s forensics department, and the Fiji Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For reasons of patient confidentiality, and out of respect to the families of the deceased, the Ministry and its partners involved in the investigation will not comment further on details of the case at this time.

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