Health Watch — Weathering Winter: Carbon Monoxide

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about weathering winter. If everyone in your home developed a headache, nausea and dizziness, would you think you’d all come down with the flu, or would you get fresh air immediately?

The symptoms of carbon-monoxide poisoning are similar to those of many common illnesses, so it can be hard to tell if you’re affected. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas formed when fuel is burned incompletely. Carbon-monoxide poisoning can happen when gas or coal-burning appliances don’t work properly. Dr. Kurt Kleinschmidt, a toxicologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, recommends installing carbon-monoxide detectors. If you suspect carbon-monoxide poisoning, get fresh air right away and call the fire department.  

For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning, visit our Health Library at,,P00479,00.html.


February 2008

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