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Volusia Department of Health investigates 12 potential cases of carbon monoxide poisoning

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The Volusia County Community Information released the following information Tuesday:

CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING

The Department of Health in Volusia County is investigating at least 12 potential cases of carbon monoxide poisoning. A few cases were asymptomatic when they arrived at the hospital; a carbon monoxide alarm had alerted them to a problem.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an invisible, odorless, tasteless gas; it is highly poisonous. Depending on the level of exposure, CO may cause fatigue, weakness, chest pains in people with heart disease, shortness of breath upon exertion, nausea, vomiting, headaches, confusion, lack of coordination, impaired vision, loss of consciousness, and in severe cases, death.

The Department of Health recommends these precautions to help prevent carbon monoxide poisoning:

  • Do not burn charcoal or gas grills inside a house, garage, vehicle, tent or fireplace.
  • Never use a generator indoors, including in homes, garages, basements, crawl spaces, and other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation. Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent CO build-up in the home.
  • Always locate the unit outdoors on a dry surface, away from doors, windows, vents, and air conditioning equipment that could allow CO to come indoors. Follow the instructions that come with your generator.
  • Install battery-operated CO alarms or plug-in CO alarms with battery back-up in your home, according to the manufacturer's installation instructions. The CO alarms should be certified to the requirements of the latest safety standards for CO alarms (UL 2034, IAS 6-96, or CSA 6.19.01).
  • Test your CO alarms frequently and replace dead batteries.

You cannot see or smell CO. Portable generators can produce high levels of CO very quickly. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air immediately. Do not delay.

If you have a poisoning emergency, call your nearest Florida Poison Information Center at 800-222-1222.  If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911 immediately.

DISASTER DISTRESS HELPLINE

The Disaster Distress Helpline operated by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters. This toll-free, multilingual and confidential crisis support service is available to all residents in the United States and its territories. Stress, anxiety and other depression-like symptoms are common reactions after a disaster.

  • Call 800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor.
  • Persons who are deaf or hard of hearing can text TalkWithUs to
  • 66746 or use their preferred relay service to call the helpline at 800-985-5990.
  • Persons who speak Spanish can call 800-985-5990 and press 2 or text Hablanos to 66746.

CITIZENS INFORMATION CENTER

Volusia County's Citizens Information Center will be open to answer hurricane-related questions from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

Beginning Thursday, it will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice. The phone number is 866-345-0345.

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