Photo: Costa Rica Ministry of Health

25 People Have Died From Tainted Alcohol in Costa Rica so Far This Summer

Travel Safety News
by Eben Diskin Aug 20, 2019

Just about everyone likes to pair their sunny vacation with a few cocktails, but if you’re heading to Costa Rica any time soon, sobriety might be the best course of action.

According to a press release by Costa Rica’s Ministry of Health, 59 people have been hospitalized for methanol poisoning, of which 25 have died, including 19 men and six women aged between 32 and 72.

The Ministry of Health has shut down 10 alcohol-serving establishments and seized over 55,000 containers of alcohol that were laced with methanol, a poisonous chemical.

Methanol can be added to alcohol to increase the volume of liquid being served, as well as its potency. Doing so, however, can also prove lethal.

According to the Ministry of Health, affected brands include:

  • Guaro Montano
  • Guaro Gran Apache
  • Aguardiente Estrella Roja
  • Aguardiente Barón Rojo
  • Aguardiente Timbuka
  • Aguardiente Molotov
  • Guaro Chonete
  • Guaro Cuerazo
  • Guaro Sacheto

Those affected by methanol poisoning will often experience symptoms of drowsiness, confusion, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, mania, coma, seizure, heart and respiratory failure, and difficulty coordinating muscle movement.

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