A spokeswoman for the Wyoming Poison Center is warning people about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning this time of year.

Joan McVoy says the winter months are especially bad for carbon monoxide because of faulty heating systems being used more and also because of people running their vehicles in closed garages.

The symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning tend to mimic those of the flu, which often prevents people from seeking treatment on the assumption they have "a bug". McVoy says  carbon monoxide victims will often suffer from excruciating headaches and may become disoriented.

In severe cases it can be fatal, with most deaths occurring during the winter months in cold climates.

McVoy says your best protection is to make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home. It's important to check the detectors periodically as the batteries will wear out.

She also says you should never run your car for an extended period in a closed space, and advises having your furnace checked annually to make sure it is working properly.

She also reminds people the center has nurses available 24/7 at 1-888-222-1222 to answer questions or give advice about possible carbon monoxide poisoning.