Costa Rica: 19 People Died Due to Alcohol Tainted with Methanol, Health Ministry Says

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The Costa Rican Health Ministry says it has confirmed 19 deaths from consumption of alcohol tainted with methanol.

costa-rica-alcohol-metanol-death-photo

Source: Getty Images

What we know so far

The Costa Rican government has issued a national alert saying that alcohol tainted with methanol is behind the deaths of 19 people.

Five women and 14 men have died after drinking contaminated liquor since early June, according to the government.

The Health Ministry said the victims ranged from 32 to 72 years in age.

costa-rica-alcohol-metanol-death-photo

While investigations continue, the ministry said in a report that the alcohol had been poisoned with methanol.

The deaths occurred in June and July in the Cost Rican towns of San Jose, Cartago, Limon, Guanacaste and Heredia.

Government officials have seized about 30,000 bottles from brands suspected of containing methanol.

The ministry said it believes the tainted alcohol is just counterfeit products of known brand names.

costa-rica-alcohol-metanol-death-photo

Source: Getty Images

Those brands seized include Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Star Welsh, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka and Aguardiente Molotov.

The government has warned people to avoid these brands as they investigate.

Aguardiente translates to English as ‘fire water’. Both it and guaro are traditionally distilled from sugar cane.

Liquor sellers sometimes dilute products with toxic methanol to increase profit margins or raise alcohol content.

Consuming methanol can cause dizziness, drowsiness, headaches and an inability to move muscles.


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Costa Rica: 19 People Died Due to Alcohol Tainted with Methanol, Health Ministry Says
Title
Costa Rica: 19 People Died Due to Alcohol Tainted with Methanol, Health Ministry Says
Description
The Costa Rican Health Ministry says it has confirmed 19 deaths from consumption of alcohol tainted with methanol.
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