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US warns travellers about tainted alcohol

Reports of travellers falling ill at Mexican resorts trigger warning

The United States State Department has made a slight modification to its Mexico travel information by warning visitors about tainted or substandard alcohol.

The change was made as a result of recent media reports of travellers suffering blackouts or illness after drinking at tourist resorts in Mexico, particularly in Cancún and the Riviera Maya.

One visitor, a 20-year-old woman from Wisconsin, died in January at a resort near Playa del Carmen.

The State Department advisory reads, “There have been allegations that consumption of tainted or substandard alcohol has resulted in illness or blacking out. If you choose to drink alcohol, it is important to do so in moderation and to stop and seek medical attention if you begin to feel ill.”

A department spokesman told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, which carried out an investigation into the young woman’s death, that information about Mexico was updated following media reports and in consultation with its offices in Mexico.

Another factor for some travelers interviewed by the newspaper was the demand for large cash payments by hospitals and clinics.

The State Department alert says, “U.S. citizens have lodged a large number of complaints about unethical business practices, prices, and collection measures against some of the private hospitals in Cancún, the Maya Riviera, and Cabo San Lucas. Travellers should make efforts to obtain complete information on billing, pricing, and proposed medical procedures before agreeing to any medical care in these locations.”

The Journal Sentinel reported yesterday that its initial report on vacationers becoming sick brought new accounts from more than three dozen people who reported similar experiences after drinking limited amounts of alcohol at Mexican resorts.

Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (en)

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