Flu Symptoms or Carbon Monoxide?

May 3, 2019 4:53 pm Published by
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Between the 29th April and 5th May this year, CO Awareness Week 2019 will take place. Carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas that, when breathed in large amounts, can cause serious damage to vital organs. In its early stages, carbon monoxide poisoning can appear to be the common flu. The best way to tell if you’re experiencing flu or carbon monoxide poisoning is to educate yourself about the symptoms.

What Are The Dangers Of Carbon Monoxide?

When carbon monoxide is inhaled, it can displace oxygen in your blood and deprive your brain, heart and other vital organs of oxygen. Breathing in large amounts of carbon monoxide can cause sudden illness, loss of consciousness, suffocation and even death. Because carbon monoxide poisoning and flu symptoms are similar, it’s important to educate yourself on the differences to avoid serious consequences.

Is It Flu Or Carbon Monoxide Poisoning?

The common flu and carbon monoxide poisoning share many common symptoms, including:

• Headache
• Nausea
• Vomiting
• Fatigue
• Dizziness
• Chest pain

However, there are some signs of common flu that don’t occur with carbon monoxide poisoning. To tell if you’re experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning or flu, consider the following:

• Check your temperature. A fever of 38°C or higher is a common flu symptom but does not indicate carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Leave the affected area. If your symptoms improve once you start breathing fresh air, you may be suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Flu typically doesn’t affect your whole family at once, but if everyone in the car or home starts experiencing symptoms within a short time period, it may be carbon monoxide poisoning.

How To Keep Your Family Safe From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Because carbon monoxide is a colourless and odourless gas, it is almost impossible to detect without a specialised alarm. If you don’t already have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted in your home, now is the time to have one installed, as carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Having an alarm fitted is essential for you and your family’s safety. It’s important to hire a registered, licensed gas plumber or gasfitter such as Newman Plumbing to install your alarm and service your appliances to ensure everything works correctly and safely.

To further protect your family from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, it’s also a good idea to:

  • Have any fuel-burning appliances serviced at least once every two years by a licensed gasfitter
  • Keep all vents and chimneys unblocked
  • Service your heaters regularly, as there are some circumstances where detectors may not trigger due to the carbon monoxide sitting below ceiling levels

For more information on carbon monoxide vs flu, please read the Flu Symptoms or Carbon Monoxide flyer, visit the Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week 2019 website or contact Newman Plumbing.


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