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Maryland reports first cold-related death of the 2020-2021 winter season

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Posted at 12:35 PM, Dec 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-09 13:59:13-05

ANNAPOLIS, Md. — Maryland is reporting its first cold-related illness death of the 2020-2021 winter season.

Officials say the deceased is a Baltimore City woman in the 60-70 age range.

“As temperatures continue to drop, Marylanders are urged to stay vigilant and to take precautions to limit their exposure to cold,” said MDH Acting Secretary Dennis R. Schrader. “Wear multiple layers if you go outside; if you need access to a shelter or warming center in your area, please contact your local health department.”

Last year there were 50 reported cold-related deaths.

Cold-related illness includes hypothermia and frostbite.

Hypothermia occurs when the body’s temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Frostbite is the freezing and subsequent destruction of body tissue that may occur when skin temperature is below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

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

To help prevent this, the Health Department says residents should limit their time outside and wear several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing.

Anyone needing a warming center can call 2-1-1 and provide their zip code to find one nearest them.

Also be sure to use safe heating sources, that don't pose a carbon monoxide or fire risk.