At least nine dead, 264 hospitalized after carbon monoxide poisoning in Montreal

QUEBEC CITY – For at least the sixth day in a row, the number of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning from fumes produced by generators and other sources in Montreal grew Sunday as health…

QUEBEC CITY – For at least the sixth day in a row, the number of cases of carbon monoxide poisoning from fumes produced by generators and other sources in Montreal grew Sunday as health officials reported that six more people had died in connection with the rising number of deaths and illnesses.

In all, 39 people have died since the outbreak began May 15 in the city of Montreal, and 264 have been hospitalized.

The Quebec provincial government issued an emergency order last week restricting the use of gas-powered generators outdoors between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. to reduce their potential spread in the community. A separate restriction to place generators inside homes and businesses during daylight hours has been ordered by the health ministry.

Sylvain Simard, the health department’s director of emergency services, said the number of people hospitalized because of the current epidemic was the highest since the department began keeping records in 2004.

Sylvain Simard, the health department’s director of emergency services, said the number of people hospitalized because of the current epidemic was the highest since the department began keeping records in 2004.

“When you’re seeing that many patients being admitted, it makes you very sad because it means that this isn’t a serious situation, but it’s an emergency, because the number is so high,” he said.

The exact number of CO2 deaths is unknown because police report such deaths in preliminary reports. Nearly all of the victims died when suffocating after they used a generator outside their homes.

“People who are using generators in their basements, and people who have generators in their home, they need to be more careful,” Simard said. “In the kitchen, when cooking, they shouldn’t use their generators. We want to appeal to people to put (a generator) inside their home.”

The director of the province’s epidemiological institute warned that this epidemic would be with us for a long time, based on the number of patients who had survived.

“We don’t know when the next level will occur,” explained Dr. Benoit Chaput. “We’re seeing a tremendous number of patients that are coming back to the hospital or are having to go straight home.”

Nearly everyone who had suffered from CO poisoning in Montreal recovered, but some that came home to Montreal from a hospital visit by parents, aunts and uncles were subsequently hospitalized, according to health officials.

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