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With flu season upon us, many people will be suffering from headaches, dizziness and nausea. While these are common flu symptoms, they are also the tell tale signs of potentially fatal carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
A recent survey, carried out by Gas Safe Register, found that there is widespread confusion among the public about the symptoms of CO poisoning. Over half of people think memory loss and a funny taste in the mouth are main symptoms of CO poisoning.
With confusion rife, flu season underway and around 4,000 people a year going to hospital with CO symptoms, Gas Safe Register wants to remind the public of the six symptoms of CO poisoning. Knowing the signs of this silent killer could save your life.
The six symptoms of CO poisoning are:
- collapse; and
- loss of consciousness.
Paul Johnston, chief executive of Gas Safe Register, comments: “A good way to differentiate between flu and CO poisoning is to see if symptoms improve when you’re outdoors in the fresh air. In addition, if other family members or pets are suffering similar, or the same symptoms to you, then it could be CO poisoning. If you suspect CO is leaking in your home, open windows and doors, turn off the gas supply and seek medical attention immediately. Even low levels of CO, when breathed in over a long period of time, can cause serious harm to a person’s health and may lead to paralysis and brain damage.”
Paul added: “You can’t see, taste or smell CO gas, however, there are ways of protecting yourself and your family. Firstly, recognise the symptoms. Secondly, CO is caused by faulty, poorly fitted and badly maintained appliances, so get yours checked regularly and only ever use a Gas Safe registered engineer. Lastly, as a further line of defence, install a CO alarm in your home. Much like a fire alarm it will be able to alert you should CO gas be detected.”
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