Thursday, May 7, 2009

Mystery illness kills 2 foreign tourists in Thailand

Published: 7/05/2009 at 03:20 PM

KRABI - Two foreign tourists have died mysteriously and two others are seriously ill from unknown causes after holidaying on Phi Phi Island, the Phuket Gazette reported on its website on Thursday.

The report speculation surrounds the circumstances of the deaths and the authorities had yet to make any official statements.

Press Attache at the US embassy in Bangkok, Michael Turner, told the 
Gazette that US citizen Jill St. Onge, 26, died on May 2, shortly after being taken to hospital by her boyfriend Ryan Kells, who also fell ill.

Both tourists were vomiting severely before Miss St. Onge’s admission to hospital, the 
Gazette report said.

Her family have set up a blog website to publicise the story. Writing on that site, Mr Kells said he suspected the air conditioning in their hotel room was responsible for making them ill and believes he survived because he had spent less time in the room than Miss St. Onge.
The same room was rented to two Norwegian women the following day. Both developed the same symptoms.

The Norwegian Ambassador to Thailand, Merete Brattested, confirmed that Julie Michelle Bergheim, 22, died on May 4 in Bangkok Hospital Phuket, the 
Gazette reported. Her friend was recovering at Bangkok Phuket Hospital.  

Koh Phi Phi hospital director Dr Buncha Khakong said the cause of both deaths was being investigated by the Department of Disease Control in Bangkok.

“I guessed something they consumed caused them to die but I cannot say clearly until we receive the lab results,” he said.

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