Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

What is the public health problem?

Carbon monoxide, or CO, an odorless, colorless gas can cause sudden illness and death. CO is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned in a furnace, vehicle, generator, grill, or elsewhere. CO from these sources can build up in enclosed or semi-enclosed spaces and poison the people and animals in them.

What does CDC do to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning?


CDC monitors, evaluates, and presents surveillance data and works with national data sources and state partners to expand surveillance of CO poisoning beyond mortality. Activities include:

Hospitalization and Emergency Department Visit Surveillance
ŸŸŸ- Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project: a source of national, state, and all-payer health care data, and
– hyperbaric oxygen treatment surveillance: captures severe CO exposure requiring treatment in hospitals; and

Post-disaster Surveillance
– nationwide poison center data, as collected by the National Poisoning Data System,
– mortality data, collected as part of the National Vital Statistics System, and
– syndromic surveillance of suspected CO poisonings.

About CDC
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) works 24/7 to protect America from health, safety and security threats, both foreign and in the U.S. Whether diseases start at home or abroad, are chronic or acute, curable or preventable, human error or deliberate attack, CDC fights disease and supports communities and citizens to do the same.

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