Mystery Illness Kills Two Teachers In Vietnam


image via Arian Zwegers

Two friends enjoying a week-long vacation in Vietnam died within two days of each other after suffering from a mystery illness. Cathy Huynh, 26, a Canadian of Vietnamese origin, and American Karin Joy Bowerman, 27, were the victims. The pair were believed to be English teachers in South Korea and were sharing a room in the coastal province of Nha Trang, located in southern Vietnam.

Ms. Bowerman had respiratory failure and zero blood pressure, and was taken to the Khanh Hoa Province General Hospital. Ms. Huynh, who was treated for shock, passed two days later and suffering from cardiac arrest.

The reasons for their deaths have not been determined, but local police believe that women’s death is due to excessive alcoholism. A police spokesman quoted -“drinking too much wine,” but the families of both the victims deny this claim. The hospital ICU has also denied these causes. Other reports believe the girls could have been poisoned.

Pham Xuan Thong, a local forensics official, had confirmed the deaths on Monday but was unable to give any further information. Ms. Huynh’s family refused an autopsy of their daughter, and claimed that since both women died of same cause one autopsy would be enough. It has reported that the samples would be analyzed at the National Forensic Examination Center in Hanoi. The U.S embassy hasn’t commented on the incident, but has confirmed the deaths.

The incident is similar to the death of four Australian tourists in northern Thailand last year. The authorities couldn’t clear the case, and deemed the incident a “coincidence”.


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