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Carbon Monoxide: A Silent Killer

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Last year in Missouri, 19 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning were reported to the Missouri department of health and senior services'five of those persons died. There have already been 20 cases in 2002.

And most of us have sources of carbon monoxide in our homes. Randy Maley, with the DHSS section for environmental public health, says anything that burns give off carbon monoxide'

randy1/1a/1b :25 "major sources."

Early symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure include headaches, dizziness, weakness, sleepiness, nausea and vomiting. People with heart disease may develop an irregular heartbeat. And Maley says exposure to higher concentrations can cause disorientation, coma, convulsions and death'

randy2/2a/2b :15 "'hospitalized."

But Maley says there are some precautions you can take to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning'

randy3/3a-f :55

Anyone who suspects they are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning should open doors and windows, turn off natural gas-fueled appliances and go outside for fresh air. Immediate medical attention should be sought for cases of severe carbon monoxide poisoning. For more information call your local health department or contact the Missouri DHSS at 573-751-6102.