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First cold related death reported in Maryland

Code Blue extended once again in Baltimore
Posted at 2:15 PM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 14:18:26-05

BALTIMORE (WMAR) — The State Health Department on Wednesday reported Maryland's first cold weather related death of the 2019-2020 winter season.

The man died in Baltimore City and was between his mid 40's and 60's.

“As temperatures continue to drop, Marylanders are urged to take every precaution to help prevent cold-related illnesses,” said Deputy Secretary for Public Health Fran Phillips. “Take care to limit your exposure to the cold. Wear layers if you go outside and contact your local health department if you need access to a warming center in your area.”

The Department of Health tracks cold-related illnesses and deaths from November through March.

Last year there were 54 cold-related deaths reported.

Cold-related illness includes hypothermia, which can occur when the body’s temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit, and frostbite which is the freezing and subsequent destruction of body tissue that may occur when skin temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Body parts most likely to freeze include toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and the tip of the nose.

Citizens are encouraged to protect themselves from the cold by limiting time spent outside, and wearing several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that will insulate those body parts most vulnerable.

Warming Centers can also be found by calling 2-1-1 and providing your county location and ZIP code.

Officials also warn to use caution while using various heat sources to stay warm. Some can cause fires, electrical injuries, burns, or carbon monoxide poisoning if not installed, operated and maintained properly.

Be sure to check that they're safe before using, install carbon monoxide detectors, and never use an oven as heat for the home.