Costa Rica officials confirm 20th death related to tainted alcohol
Costa Rican officials have confirmed another death related to tainted alcohol, bringing the total number of deaths to at least 20, CBS News reports.
Though the investigation is still in progress, the Costa Rica Ministry of Health said it has so far confirmed the deaths of 15 men and five women since early June. The victims' ages ranged from 32 to 72 years. In total, 41 people have reportedly been affected by the alcohol, according to CBS.
The ministry said Wednesday that it searched a facility that belonged to Pinares de Heredia, one of the suppliers of the alcohol, and confiscated boxes of liquor suspected of containing methanol.
Since the investigation, authorities have seized 30,000 bottles of alcohol from brands including Guaro Montano, Guaro Gran Apache, Star Welsh, Aguardiente Barón Rojo, Aguardiente Timbuka and Aguardiente Molotov, according to the New York Daily News.
Though small amounts of methanol in alcohol are common, consumption of a high amount can lead to dizziness, amnesia, nausea, vomiting, blurred vision and kidney failure, the Centers for Disease Control warns.
News of the alcohol-related deaths in Costa Rica comes amid numerous reports regarding similar deaths in the Dominican Republic. Though Dominican authorities determined in several of those cases that the victims had prior health issues that may have contributed to their death, the FBI is assisting the country's police in their investigation into at least three of the deaths.