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Costa Rica Adulterated Alcohol

Costa Rica Adulterated Alcohol
Costa Rica Adulterated Alcohol

Video: Costa Rica Adulterated Alcohol

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Costa Rica has just become the second Latin American nation to suffer a crisis from adulterated alcohol. The Ministry of Health of that nation confirms that since last June 59 people have been hospitalized "due to methanol poisoning" and that 25 of them have died.

The first official reports of the poisoning emerged in July when four people were treated for poisoning in San José, the capital, some of them suffering from irreversible blindness, The Tico Times reported at the time. Now, the Ministry of Health has increased the alarm by confirming that there are already 25 dead due to these substances.

"Of the deceased there are 19 men and six women, aged between 32 and 72, who died seven in San José, one in Alajuela, two in Heredia, five in Cartago, three in Guanacaste, one in Puntarenas, four in Limón and two that are still under investigation,”said spokespersons for the Health Surveillance Unit through a statement published on the official website of said agency.

The authorities' response to the situation has been strong. The Ministry of Health has closed 10 establishments in the capital and in the population of Alajuela. "More than 55 thousand containers have been seized due to the commercialization of alcoholic beverages adulterated with methanol," he explained.

As a preventive measure, the agency has published a long list of alcoholic beverages that the public should avoid at all costs:

Photos of adulterated drinks in Costa Rica
Photos of adulterated drinks in Costa Rica

"Adulterated alcohol (…) can definitely be lethal," Dr. Juan Rivera told People en Español last July. “Specifically, one of the possible causes is [methanol] (methyl alcohol). It is an alcohol that we humans are not really supposed to have in our bodies. We do not tolerate it… many organs affect us and people can die quickly”.

The reports that emerged in Costa Rica add to the crisis that has affected the Dominican Republic, where at least 10 tourist deaths have been reported and that have occurred in different resorts since the summer of 2018.

“I think the best thing is to drink beverages that are much more difficult to adulterate. For example, beer is much more difficult to adulterate and one can tell the difference, "says the aforementioned Puerto Rican doctor as advice for those planning to travel to countries where deaths from adulterated alcohol have occurred. "One thing you should do is try to avoid gin, vodka or whiskey, which are the alcohols that have to go through that complete distillation process."

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