New Orleans, LA – The Louisiana Department of Health says that over the past week there have been 141 emergency room visits in the state for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Those include in Regions 1 (Greater New Orleans), 2 (Baton Rouge), 3 (River Parishes) and 9 (Northshore).

Four individuals in Louisiana have died from carbon monoxide poisoning during and after Hurricane Ida.

LDH is reminding residents to use their portable or stand-by generators safely by following advice from the Office of the State Fire Marshal:

  • Place generators at least 20 feet away from your home.
  • Look for any air entry points into the home near your unit and ensure that those are properly closed and sealed off, such as windows or doors, air intakes, nearby dryer vents or crawl spaces.
  • Have a CO alarm.
  • Give these generators breaks that allow for any concentrated exhaust to clear away from the area.
  • Open your windows and doors during this break to air out any concentration that may have collected in your home.

In addition:

  • Check the manufacturing specs to verify the installation meets those specs.
  • If there’s a concern that the installation standards were not met, get an appropriate party, like the installer, out to inspect it.
  • Ensure your generator is being appropriately maintained, including the oil change frequency requirements.

LDH says the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.

Symptoms, they say, are often described as being “flu-like.”