Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people
Jan 25, 2023, 9:02 AM | Updated: Oct 19, 2023, 1:05 pm
EPHRAIM, Utah — A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 people to the hospital.
The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered. People started feeling sick, with a variety of symptoms like headaches.
At least 10 staffers and seven clients were checked out or treated in hospitals, according to Nathan Strait, the center’s CEO.
Two employees were in such bad shape that they were rushed to a local hospital and then to Utah Valley Hospital, where many of the staff have since received hyperbaric chamber treatments. One worker received six treatments, and some have lingering effects.
“There’s still a few with headaches, a little bit of dizziness,” Strait said. “A lot of that are actually results of the hyperbaric treatment they had to go through.”
No one was hospitalized overnight, and all staff are now feeling well enough to return to work, he said.
Britany Havens and her four kids had been noticing headaches after therapy appointments for a couple of months now, with more serious symptoms in the past two weeks.
“My oldest son told me that when he was leaving therapy, he was seeing ‘floaters’ floating in front of him,” Havens said, “and he was really dizzy and nauseous and had to brace himself walking out.”
Havens wonders how long the carbon monoxide has been leaking.
Strait told KSL TV that’s unclear. He said a maintenance worker doing a routine check on Jan. 18 spotted the issue with the natural gas furnace emitting high levels of carbon monoxide. The building was quickly evacuated.