A national alert has been issued by the Costa Rica Ministry of Health after more than a dozen deaths have been attributed to the consumption of alcohol tainted with dangerous levels of methanol in the country.
The Tico Times reported that the Health Ministry said 19 deaths in June were due to methanol poisoning, according to preliminary information. Of those deaths, 14 are men and five are women, who range in age from 32 to 72 years old, the Ministry of Health said.
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Various brands have been affected and more than 30,000 bottles of alcohol suspected to of having been tainted were confiscated by the government, CNN reported.
Affected brands include Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Aguardiente Estrella, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka and Molotov Aguardiente, according to The Tico Times.
CNN reported that, according to the World Health Organization, methanol poisoning outbreaks are typically tied to "adulterated counterfeit or informally-produced spirit drinks."
It is recommended by the Ministry of Health that people not consume or purchase the brands mentioned in the alert until the health alert is lifted. It also says those with symptoms of methanol poisoning after drinking alcohol should report to the Ministry of Health.