Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Reportable by Providers and laboratories
Carbon Monoxide poisoning

Agent: carbon monoxide (CO) an odorless, colorless, and deadly gas

Description of illness:   CO poisoning often causes dizziness, headache, nausea, and shortness of breath.  CO poisoning can cause death within minutes inside enclosed, semi-enclosed or poorly ventilated areas.  All people are at risk for CO poisoning.  Certain groups are more easily affected, including infants, children, pregnant women and those with chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems.

Common Sources:   Carbon monoxide is the result of incomplete combustion. Therefore, just about anything that burns can make CO.  Common sources are electric generators, vehicle tailpipes, boat motors, natural gas appliances and water heaters, charcoal grills, and fires.

NEW: As of 01/01/2024  Laboratories are required to report laboratory-confirmed CO cases (carboxyhemoglobin level of >12.0% as measured in a blood sample)