State health officials are urging Iowans to purchase a carbon monoxide detector, or if they already have one, to make sure it has fresh batteries. Doctor Kenneth Soyemi is an Assistant Medical Director with the Iowa Department of Public Health. "Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and tasteless (gas)," Soyemi says, "so it’s very important to make sure you have a carbon monoxide detector at home, and watch out for the signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning."
Individuals you believe they could be suffering from symptoms of CO poisoning are told to get outside immediately and call a health care professional. Dr. Soyemi says the symptoms include headache, dizziness and nausea. Exposure to CO can lead to loss of consciousness and death. The health department warning is especially important for Iowans who use alternative means to heat their home.