The Ministry of Health has issued the latest data on the methanol poisoning event in León, Chinandega, and Managua. A total of 788 cases were reported, of which 44 persons died between 2 and 18 September. 28 persons remain hospitalized, with 10 of these in critical condition. There have been no deaths reported since 18 September.
PAHO assisted by providing expert help through the Network of Toxicology of Latin America and the Caribbean (RETOXLAC) in order to exchange information and support the toxicologists of Nicaragua and channeling drugs and antidote medicines to the country.
New suspected cases and deaths of Methanol poisoning 02/09/06–18/09/06
|Total cases in hospital||43||4||3||3||1||16||70|
|Critical cases (ICU, Emergency Department)||13||3||2||18|
Number of Participants
|10 September||Medical staff HEODRA from internal medicine, ICU, and emergency room||30 doctors|
|11 September||Health personnel Leon and doctors from HEODRA||250 trained|
|ICU doctor from the Military Hospital||3 trained|
|12 September||Health personnel from Lenin Fonseca Hospital||80 trained|
|ICU doctors from Lenin Fonseca Hospital||20|
|Health personnel Chinandega||200 trained|
A massive poisoning by ingestion of home distilled "guaro" contaminated by Methanol has been reported in the departments of León and of Chinandega, Nicaragua.
The first cases are detected on the 2nd September in Poneloya to the west of the city of León, about 55 miles (90km) northwest of the capital, Managua, and subsequently extended to several wards of the same city. More cases were reported on the 7th September in the municipalities of Malpaisillo, La Paz Center and Nagarote. Since the 9th September there have been reported cases in the department of Chinandega. (see map).
The Laboratory of Forensic Medicine of Managua has confirmed
the presence of Methanol in 23 samples of hospitalized patients.
Between the 5th and the 11th of September, 562 cases were reported of which 35 died (25 in the hospital, 10 at home). 15 new cases were hospitalized on the 11th September, bringing the total number hospitalized to 160 - 116 in the department of León, 8 in the department of Chinandega and 36 in several referral hospitals of Managua.
Cases of suspected poisoning continue to be reported each
day in part due to the massive publicity campaign and the active search
for affected persons by the Government.
Between 10-11 September, state authorities continued to confiscate home brewed liquor for testing throughout the country. Nearly 13,000 gallons (48,000 litres) have been seized so far.
The PAHO/WHO Office in Nicaragua has supported the Ministry of Health by purchasing medical supplies to deal with this type of emergency:
The PAHO/WHO Office in Nicaragua also arranged for the donation of 300 courses of treatment of Fomepizol (1200 ampoules), which was delivered on 9 September. PAHO/WHO staff are forming health teams to support the Ministry of Health response to the emergency.
Reinforcement of surveillance and intervention capacity
in the department of León for the early detection of new cases,
the closing of establishments that sell illegal alcohol and a mass communication