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Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas and is dangerous because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes. At lower levels of exposure, CO causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu.
These symptoms include headaches, dizziness, disorientation, nausea and fatigue. The effects of CO exposure can vary greatly from person to person depending on age, overall health and the concentration and length of exposure.
CO gas can come from several sources including gas-fired appliances, charcoal grills, wood-burning furnaces or fireplaces, and motor vehicles.
Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning. Medical experts believe that unborn babies, infants, children, senior citizens and people with heart or lung problems are at even greater risk for CO poisoning.
What you need to do if your carbon monoxide alarm goes off depends on whether anyone is feeling ill or not. If no one is feeling ill do the following:
If illness is a factor: