A national alert has been issued across Coasta Rica concerning tainted alcohol, after 19 people were confirmed dead due to methanol poisoning.

Since June, the suspicious deaths of 14 men and five women ranging ages from 32 to 72 have been linked to methanol poisoning. The Ministry of Health says information on the related deaths are “preliminary,” with an ongoing investigation underway.

Several alcohol brands have reportedly been found with traces of methanol — the same poisonous substance found in antifreeze. About 30,000 bottles suspect to be poisoned were confiscated.

The affected bottles include: Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Aguardiente Estrella, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka and Molotov Aguardiente. The Ministry of Health warns to not consume alcohol from those brands.

Signs of methanol poisoning include abdominal pain, headache, and lack of body coordination/movements. Symptoms may not appear immediately, but long after consuming methanol, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

A release from Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health says the fatal consequences of consuming alcohol with methanol is dependent on the concentration, also the weight of the consumer and their drinking habits.


Source: CBS News | Photo: Costa Rica Ministry of Health