32 Palm Beach County residents poisoned by generators, officials say


Thirty-two Palm Beach County residents have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning after inhaling dangerous fumes from generators they fired up after Hurricane Irma wiped out electrical power to their homes, county health officials said Wednesday.

The number includes two families in West Palm Beach and one each in Delray Beach and Boca Raton who were treated at area hospitals after they inhaled fumes from generators running in their garages, said Tim O’Connor, health department spokesman. He said he didn’t have a breakdown of whether additional families were stricken or whether it was individuals.

Even as Florida Power & Light Co. continues to restore power to homes throughout the county, the hum of generators continues in many neighborhoods continues.

Generators should be operated 20 feet away from homes in the open air, O’Connor said. They should never be used in enclosed areas. Carbon monoxide is a highly poisonous, odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood and is highly poisonous. Anyone who suspects they have been exposed should call 911.

Health officials are also monitoring five members of a Boca Raton family who were bitten by a bat that entered their home as they prepared for Irma’s arrival on Sunday, he said. The bat is being tested at a state laboratory for rabies. While all members of the family received preventative medicine, the results of the tests will determine if they will have to receive additional treatment, O’Connor said.



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