Health Department Warns of Carbon Monoxide Danger

Vermont Department of Health

   News Release: December 23, 2013


Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health

BURLINGTON – The Vermont Department of Health is reporting multiple cases of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in the Northeast Kingdom – and reminding everyone to take precautions to avoid exposure to the potentially fatal colorless and odorless gas.

Power outages across the northern part of the state following the ice storm increases the risk of CO poisoning as generators and heat sources such as propane cooking stoves are more likely to be improperly used indoors.

The Health Department's Office of Public Health Preparedness is working to notify residents in areas impacted by the storm after Emergency Medical Services crews in Newport responded to several calls involving carbon monoxide illnesses.

Early symptoms of CO poisoning can be confused with flu-like symptoms —headache, dizziness and nausea. Breathing carbon monoxide causes these symptoms even in healthy people. It can also cause sleepiness, vision problems (including blurred vision), ringing in the ears, aching arms and legs, irregular breathing, fatigue and confusion. At very high levels, it causes loss of consciousness and death.

Breathing low levels of carbon monoxide over a few hours can be just as dangerous as breathing high levels for a few minutes. If symptoms go away when you leave your home, but come back when you return, there may be a carbon monoxide problem in your home.

Prevent CO poisoning:

For more about preventing carbon monoxide poisoning visit:

Visit the Health Department’s website at for up-to-date news, alerts and health information.
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