Carbon Monoxide Poisoning a Danger Following Floods
At least three cases of illness due to carbon monoxide poisoning have been confirmed following the West Virginia floods. Here’s what happened:
After the floods, entire towns lost power for days. Some areas continue to experience widespread power outages. To bridge the gap, many residents turned to gas generators, gas or charcoal grills and camp stoves. But when used in an enclosed space or near an open window, these items can cause carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon Monoxide is an odorless, colorless poisonous gas that can cause sudden illness and even death. Symptoms of poisoning include headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and altered mental illness. The Department of Health and Human Resources urges residents to use generators and grills outdoors and call 911 immediately if poisoning is suspected.
Appalachia Health News is a project of West Virginia Public Broadcasting, with support from the Benedum Foundation.