Authorities in the US and Fiji are investigating a bizarre and tragic case involving a young, healthy couple who died days apart from each other while on vacation to the island country late last month.
Michelle and David Paul, from Fort Worth, Texas, were taken to a local hospital soon after arriving in Fiji on May 22, the country's ministry of health and medical services told CBS News. Their conditions only worsened while in care.
Tracey Calanog, Michelle Paul's sister-in-law, confirmed their deaths to BuzzFeed News. She said Michelle died first, and David's death followed days after.
It's unclear what illness or illnesses the couple may have contracted and what caused their deaths. Fiji's Ministry of Health and Medical Services is currently working with local police forensics and the CDC to investigate, CBS News reported.
The couple were parents to a 2-year-old boy, and David also had a daughter from another relationship. They were reportedly fit and in good health.
"They are remarkable people and such a loving couple who cares immensely about family, especially their children," said Calanog.
Calanog said she and their extended family are coming together to care for Michelle and David's family. The couple's dog, Zooey, was previously left at an unknown kennel and they've since been able to locate and take her into their care.
"Our family is grateful for the communities that helped us find their dog and pull together to care for our families after such tragedy," she added.
The World Health Organization recently updated their Emergencies Preparedness and Response board, noting that Fiji has seen a "surge in cases of severe acute respiratory illness, particularly affecting young adults, including four pregnant women who died."
BuzzFeed News has reached out to Fiji's Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.