NEWS

Patients Under Observation In Fiji Over Mystery Illness Not Allowed Visitors

"Although they were provided medical treatment as standard of care, their illnesses progressively worsened and despite best efforts, they died within a few days of each other." - Ministry of Health and Medical Services
05 Jun 2019 12:48
Patients Under Observation In Fiji Over Mystery Illness Not Allowed Visitors
Nadi Hospital

A man has revealed that his daughter is one of the two nurses among the five patients under observation at Nadi Hospital over a mystery illness.

The illness has been linked to the deaths of a United States couple, David James Paul and Jane Michell Canalog Paul, who were holidaying in Nadi.

The other three patients include a Police officer and two security guards.

The man, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue, said they tried to visit her daughter in hospital.

But they were told no visitors were allowed into the rooms. They watched her through the glass window from outside and she appeared to be getting better, he said.

The man said they dropped off some food for her and the medical professionals, wearing masks, took it in.

He said he received information that her daughter would remain there for this week.

He said the medical professionals at the hospital told him they would only release the five patients once they had been cleared by the doctors.

“We are not allowed to visit her, we can only see her from outside the window and give home cooked meals to the doctors to pass on to them.

“The doctors are seen wearing masks inside the rooms.”

The late David James Paul and his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul.

The late David James Paul and his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul.

He said the two nurses worked in the same medical clinic where Americans David James Paul, 38, an engineer with Lockeed Martin and his wife, Jane Michelle Canalog Paul, 35, were examined before their deaths. The United States Embassy in Suva said in a statement yesterday, they had been closely working with the Fijian Government, Police, and Health officials in their investigation. The Embassy has facilitated contact between the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Fiji’s Ministry of Health to ascertain the causes of death and to assist in any related measures.

“We appreciate the efforts made thus far by the Fijian authorities and stand ready to provide further assistance, if requested,” an embassy statement said.

“At this point, we are not aware of any specific public-health threat to the community. We will provide updates as appropriate.” The Ministry of Health and Medical Services said in a statement they were investigating the deaths of the couple who arrived in Fiji on May 22.

“The couple presented with an illness while in the country on holiday in the Western Division,” the ministry said.

“Although they were provided medical treatment as standard of care, their illnesses progressively worsened and despite best efforts, they died within a few days of each other.”

“At this stage the ministry is conducting investigations into the possible causes and has also put in place necessary public health measures.”

The ministry said it was also working with the Fiji Police Force’s forensics department, the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the United States Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on determining the cause of death.

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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