3 Aug 2012

Careful what you drink travellers to Indonesia warned

7:22 pm on 3 August 2012

New Zealanders travelling to Indonesia are being warned to be careful what they drink after a backpacker was left partially blind from cocktails laced with methanol.

The young North American woman ended up being treated in Christchurch Hospital.

The backpacker, who was 19 at the time, arrived in New Zealand suffering from shortness of breath and blurred vision some 35 hours after drinking 8 to 10 cocktails in a Balinese bar.

The poisoning, which happened almost 11 months ago, has been reported in a Australasian medical journal, prompting the warning to travellers.

An emergency physician, Paul Gee, who treated the woman in Christchurch hospital, says a lot of drinks in developing countries tend to be home-brewed.