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Rising cases of CO poisoning in Texas: Death of another woman and child reported

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Houston is witnessing a rising number of critical illnesses and deaths due to carbon monoxide poisoning. The latest being the death of a woman and an 8-year-old girl, while another adult and a 7-year-old boy were hospitalized.

Houston’s Harris County has had more than 300 incidents of poisoning due to carbon monoxide (CO). According to the reports, in the latest incident, 4 people suffered due to carbon monoxide poisoning after running a car in the garage, in their attempt to keep warm during the extreme cold temperatures outside.

Reportedly, an adult woman and the 8-year-old girl succumbed to the poisoning, while the boy who was 7 was rushed to the hospital along with the adult male, both were suffering due to the carbon monoxide poisoning. The woman was having a conversation with one of her relatives located in Colorado and suddenly fainted in the moving car. The relative who was on the other side of the call reported it to the police.

The cops from the Houston Police Department and the Houston Fire Department members left for the 8300 La Roche to monitor the situation when they found four people critically “affected by the carbon monoxide poisoning.”

The police stated, “Initial indications are that [a] car was running in the attached garage to create heat as the power is out. Cars, grills, and generators should not be used in or near a building.”

Chief of the police, Art Acevedo called the incident “heartbreaking” and expressed prayers for the affected family. He also urged the people to be aware of the hazardous carbon monoxide events saying, “Please bundle up and be aware of the extreme danger carbon monoxide poses for us.”

The tragic incident happened in quick succession to another instance in Houston when 6 people including four children, were urgently hospitalized as they were trying to heat up their apartment with the help of a charcoal grill for continuous four hours. Out of six, a child and an adult were found to be critical, as reported by the Houston Fire Department.

While speaking to the Chronicle, Houston’s Memorial Hermann Hospital spokesperson said that many of those who are undergoing treatment for carbon monoxide poisoning were found to be using barbecue pits and generators inside the home to stay warms. Especially considering that Texas has been struck by a winter storm leading to a record drop in temperatures. The storms have also taken a toll on the electricity supply.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggests fixing carbon monoxide detectors at home and scrutinizing the batteries at least twice a year.  The agency also suggests yearly maintenance and servicing of the equipment by a learned technician. The CDC strongly recommends against using mobile “flameless chemical heaters or generators indoors.”

The CDC also stated about carbon monoxide being a harmful gas that is emitted by cars, engines, stoves, fireplaces, furnaces, as teens, and grills. This gas which lacks color and odor can cause severe illness, and even death. Although the illness so caused is known to show symptoms like that of flu, it has the potential to kill one while asleep, and before showing any alarming symptoms.

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