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CDC issues health advisory over carbon monoxide poisoning risks in aftermath of Hurricane Laura

Hurricane Laura, a category 4 storm, has made landfall near Cameron, Louisiana. CNN's Martin Savidge reports from the ground in Lake Charles.

Posted: Aug 27, 2020 6:02 AM
Updated: Aug 27, 2020 10:30 PM


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a Health Alert Network advisory Thursday warning of the risks of carbon monoxide poisoning in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura, which slammed into the Louisiana coast early Thursday as a powerful Category 4 storm.

The storm has knocked out power to thousands of homes and businesses and people could turn to 'alternate power sources such as gasoline generators and may use propane or charcoal grills for cooking,' the CDC said.

'If used or placed improperly, these sources can lead to CO build up inside buildings, garages, or campers and poison the people and animals inside.'

The agency is warning clinicians in the hurricane zone to pay attention to symptoms that could be related to CO poisoning.

While the symptoms of CO poisoning are 'variable and non-specific,' they can include headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, weakness, chest pain and altered mental status.

No fever with symptoms, a history of exposure or multiple people with similar complaints are red flags for carbon monoxide exposure.

Babies, pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic conditions, such as anemia, respiratory illness or heart disease are most at risk for CO poisoning, the agency said.

'Appropriate and prompt diagnostic testing and treatment are crucial to reduce morbidity and prevent mortality from CO poisoning,' the CDC said in the health advisory. 'Identifying and mitigating the CO source is critical in preventing other poisoning cases.'

The CDC issued recommendations for clinicians on what to look for and how to treat possible CO exposure or poisoning.

For example, after a clinician assesses a patient's symptoms and activities, 'Evaluation should include examination for other conditions including smoke inhalation, trauma, medical illness, or intoxication.'

The advisory includes specific treatments for CO poisoning and other steps to take. 'Be aware that CO exposure may be ongoing for others spending time in or near the same environment as the patient.' These people should be tested, as well, the agency said.

Clinicians should notify emergency medical services, the fire department or law enforcement to investigate the source of the carbon monoxide and advise patients about safe practices for operating generators, grills, camp stoves or other alternative fuel-burning devices.

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 755401

Reported Deaths: 8531
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1513291905
Ramsey62614972
Dakota56158520
Anoka53010513
Washington33145327
Stearns27922252
St. Louis23178352
Scott21316159
Wright20879170
Olmsted17821118
Sherburne15232111
Carver1336954
Clay1006598
Rice9855131
Blue Earth949559
Crow Wing9254105
Kandiyohi819195
Chisago816662
Otter Tail7807104
Benton7363108
Beltrami633276
Mower631740
Douglas616189
Goodhue603683
Winona603653
Itasca596978
McLeod580868
Steele572425
Isanti558172
Morrison541565
Becker518762
Polk502577
Freeborn480842
Nobles477052
Lyon444456
Carlton438666
Nicollet423051
Pine419930
Cass413142
Mille Lacs403565
Brown398846
Todd389336
Le Sueur378331
Meeker350452
Waseca322629
Martin316534
Wabasha28495
Hubbard283644
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Fillmore236312
Redwood234143
Wadena230229
Houston229017
Renville224249
Faribault214630
Pennington213227
Sibley204512
Cottonwood193027
Kanabec187130
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Watonwan168711
Pope15328
Rock153219
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Jackson144114
Koochiching137219
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Marshall131419
Murray131310
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Wilkin100214
Lac qui Parle95024
Mahnomen86312
Norman8459
Big Stone7874
Grant7669
Lincoln7525
Kittson59522
Red Lake5769
Unassigned528124
Traverse5005
Lake of the Woods4524
Cook2420

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 467281

Reported Deaths: 6685
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk73698716
Linn28680379
Scott24441271
Black Hawk20130355
Woodbury18854242
Johnson17800100
Dubuque15577228
Pottawattamie14073197
Dallas13894107
Story1275148
Warren763496
Webster6876111
Cerro Gordo6816107
Clinton6814100
Des Moines657893
Marshall635484
Muscatine6294113
Wapello5807136
Jasper571478
Lee560787
Sioux560276
Marion499791
Buena Vista489745
Plymouth459187
Henry378647
Jones365160
Washington362255
Bremer353867
Benton352056
Boone344837
Carroll341753
Crawford337345
Mahaska313656
Dickinson297651
Clay274631
Buchanan274239
Jackson270445
Kossuth269373
Hardin266448
Tama261476
Fayette253848
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Page244827
Wright240945
Winneshiek230837
Hamilton228553
Floyd216744
Harrison215277
Madison214325
Clayton210058
Poweshiek206840
Iowa204229
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Jefferson197340
Mills197227
Allamakee192952
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Lyon190641
Cass190557
Winnebago185432
Hancock184739
Calhoun184115
Appanoose175950
Shelby174239
Louisa169651
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Emmet163842
Franklin163328
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Union159437
Chickasaw156418
Sac156323
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Lucas112224
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Monona107436
Worth10678
Adair103634
Osceola91117
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Van Buren82721
Decatur81212
Taylor78612
Wayne72024
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Audubon64514
Adams4984
Unassigned150
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