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Hurricane Irma Update Carbon Monoxide Poison-4 Families Animal Bite-BAT 5 family members

By Public Information

September 12, 2017

PALM BEACH COUNTY- Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County has received reports of four families with carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning as a result of improper generator use.  Additionally, five family members have had possible rabies exposure from a bat that entered their household.  

Department of Health continues to caution individuals using generator power to keep the generator at least 20 feet from the home in open air and not contained in any building.  The current exposures in West Palm Beach, Delray Beach and Boca Raton occurred when a generator was left running in a closed garage. 

The bat entered a home in Boca Raton during hurricane preparations and being disoriented came in contact with five family members.  All have received initial preventive treatment.  The bat has been submitted to the State Lab for rabies testing. 

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a highly poisonous, odorless, colorless, tasteless gas that interferes with the delivery of oxygen in the blood to the rest of the body and is highly poisonous. Suspected exposures should contact 911.

Rabies is a disease of the nervous system and is fatal to warm blooded animals and humans. The only treatment for human exposure to rabies is rabies-specific immune globulin and rabies immunization.  Appropriate treatment started soon after the exposure will protect an exposed person from the Disease. Individual’s bitten by a stray or wild animal should report to their nearest medical provider and report it to Animal Care and Control.

Department of Health continues its disease surveillance throughout the storm recovery and will update the community on a regular basis.

Health Department clinics and offices remain closed for public health services through Wednesday, September 13, 2017 due to hurricane recovery.  Information can be obtained by calling 561-840-4500 or the Emergency Operations Center at 561-712-6400.

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