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Is It a Cold or the Flu? Symptoms





Usual; high (100°F to 102°F, occasionally higher, especially in young children); lasts 3 to 4 days




General Aches, Pains


Usual; often severe

Fatigue, Weakness


Usual; can last up to 2 to 3 weeks



Usual; at the beginning of the illness

Stuffy Nose






Sore Throat



Chest Discomfort, Cough

Mild to moderate; hacking cough

Common; can become severe


Antihistamines Decongestants Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicines

Antiviral medicines— see your doctor


Wash your hands often with soap and water; avoid close contact with anyone with a cold

Annual vaccination; antiviral medicines—see your doctor


Sinus congestion Middle ear infection Asthma

Bronchitis, pneumonia; can worsen chronic conditions; can be life-threatening. Complications more likely in the elderly, those with chronic conditions, young children, and pregnant women




Carbon Monoxide Poisoning



If you use gas, wood, kerosene or fuel oil as a heat source, you are producing carbon monoxide.  Any fuel-burning appliance such as a fireplace, water heater, space heater, clothes dryer, or a gas stove is a potential source of CO poisoning if not properly vented and maintained. Idling your vehicle or running a gas-powered generator in an attached garage can also cause CO; the fumes seep into your home through doors and floorboards.

Symptoms of CO poisoning mimic the flu and include dizziness, severe headaches, nausea, sleepiness, fatigue/weakness, and disorientation. At high concentration levels, CO can be fatal.  Known as the "Silent Killer," carbon monoxide is invisible, tasteless and odorless.

   Protecting Your Family:

1. Do an annual inspection of heating system and gas-burning appliances. A qualified technician should come equipped with a digital CO analyzer such as the Bacharach Monoxor II, which can be used to check the furnace, water heater, range, oven and other gas-burning appliances while they are in operation.

2. Install working Carbon Monoxide alarms. CO detectors have a useful life of around five years. Older units should be replaced. Newer models (meeting the current UL standards) will alarm only when there is a sustained level of 70 ppm (parts per million) of carbon monoxide in the air. Lower CO levels, especially if prolonged, may be harmful to babies, youngsters, pregnant women and older people. Choose an alarm with a digital readout and memory that will record the highest CO level that occurred since the last re-set.

3. What to do if alarm goes off: Evacuate the house. Call the 911. If CO levels are not high, ask that your family be tested with a CO breath analyzer (the CO in the house may have dissipated by the time the fire department arrives).

Other tips:

a. Avoid warming up automobile in the garage.

b. Never use charcoal to cook inside.

c. Do not use generators in garages, basements or indoors.

4. Backdrafting: Exhaust gases from furnaces, fireplaces, water heaters and other appliances can be pulled back inside a tightly sealed house when exhaust fans, clothes dryers and other appliances are operated. This can happen when:


a. The house is tightly sealed (weather-stripping, energy efficient windows).

b. The furnace and other fuel-burning appliances are old or have been poorly maintained.

c. Exhaust fans have been added in kitchens and bathrooms.

d. Wood-burning fireplaces do not have glass doors.

e. Basements have been remodeled reducing the supply of comb

Now would be a good time to check your furnaces or other fossil fuel burning equipment to make sure your systems work as intended by the manufacturer and are venting properly, Installing CO detectors in buildings and homes that use fossil fuels is essential.   Look for one that is battery operated or includes battery backup for protection during power outages. Beginning November 1, all residences in New York City will be required to have a CO detector installed. 


When the CO alarm sounds, don't ignore it. Get out of the building immediately. Call emergency personnel once you are out of the building and don't re-enter until you have been notified that it is safe to do so.


Carbon monoxide poisoning is the leading cause of accidental poisoning deaths in America, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Most poisonings happen in the colder months, when homeowners use fuel-burning furnaces and appliances.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports more than 10,000 people die or seek medical attention each year due to CO poisoning from a house-related product.  More than half of those fatalities and injuries are due to CO poisoning from heating systems.


Check OSHA Safety web…for more info











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