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Tainted liquor cases on the decline, Health Ministry says

August 26, 2019

Twenty-six people have died in Costa Rica since June after consuming tainted liquor, but the Health Ministry says there have been no new deaths since Aug. 1.

The organization’s latest figures show 72 people have been hospitalized with methanol poisoning as a result of drinking adulterated or unlicensed alcohol. No tourists have been affected by adulterated alcohol in Costa Rica, the Health Ministry says.

In an effort to minimize the risk to public health, authorities have seized more than 65,000 bottles of liquor and shuttered businesses that continue to sell affected brands.

While the number of methanol poisoning cases is declining, the Health Ministry’s alert remains in effect and the following liquor brands are still banned in Costa Rica: “Guaro Montano,” “Guaro Chonete,” “Guaro Cuerazo,” “Guaro Sacheto,” “Guaro Gran Apache,” “Aguardiente Estrella Roja,” “Aguardiente Barón Rojo,” “Aguardiente Timbuka,” and “Aguardiente Molotov.”

Do not drink alcohol sold under those brands, and report to the Health Ministry (denuncias.drpis@misalud.go.cr) if you see them being sold anywhere in Costa Rica before the health alert is lifted.

Symptoms of methanol poisoning may not appear immediately. They include acute abdominal pain, acute headache and ataxia (lack of coordination of body movements), according to the Health Ministry.

 

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