According to reports on 22 July, at least 19 people have been killed nationwide since early June due to poisoned alcohol. At least seven of the deaths reportedly occurred in San Jose province, which includes the capital, San Jose.
Authorities indicated that several alcohol brands were tainted with methanol—found in solvents and antifreeze—and have warned against consuming alcohol from brands including Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Aguardiente Estrella, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka, and Molotov Aguardiente.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has previously reported outbreaks of counterfeit or informally-produced alcohol resulting in methanol poisoning in Cambodia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Libya, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Turkey and Uganda.
According to the WHO, symptoms of methanol poisoning often appear several hours after consumption and include drowsiness, dizziness, headache, vomiting, abdominal pain and vertigo. More serious cases can result in hyperventilation, blindness, coma, convulsions and respiratory arrest.
Avoid consuming alcohol manufactured by Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Aguardiente Estrella, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka, and Molotov Aguardiente.
Seek medical attention if symptoms emerge following consumption of alcohol.
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