Nineteen people have been confirmed dead after consuming alcohol tainted with toxic levels of methanol in Costa Rica.
.Confirming the incident, the country’s Ministry of Health said fourteen men and five women from 32 to 72 years old have died in several cities across the country since the beginning of June.
The Ministry has also advised its citizens against consuming alcohol from a number of brands because samples had tested positive to methanol adulteration.
The Costa Rican government has also issued a national alert, saying it has confiscated several brands of about 30, 000 bottles of alcohol suspected to be tainted.
Adulterated liquor often contains methanol which can make people feel inebriated. Adding methanol to distilled spirits enables sellers to increase the amount of liquid and its potential potency.
SafeProof, a group which advocates against counterfeit alcohol said methanol poisoning can cause confusion, dizziness, drowsiness, headaches and the inability to coordinate muscle movements.
According to the World Health Organization, outbreaks of methanol poisoning are usually linked to adulterated, counterfeit or informally-produced spirit drinks.
This year, at least 154 people died and more than 200 others were hospitalized after drinking tainted alcohol in India.