First Cold Related Death in Maryland Reported for 2019-2020 Winter

Marylanders are encouraged to take precautions.

Baltimore, MD – The Maryland Department of Health reported Tuesday the first cold-related death of the winter season.

The MDH is urging residents to take extra precautions this winter to prevent cold-related illnesses like hypothermia or frostbite.

Dr. Clifford Mitchell of the MDH said people spending extended periods of time outside in harsh weather should know the signs of deteriorating health.

“When your toes start to tingle or your fingers start to tingle,” Mitchell said. “… That’s a sign you’ve got dot damage or potential damage.”

Toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and other extremities are especially vulnerable to frostbite.

Dr. Mitchell said cold-related complications can be prevented by both limiting time outside and by wearing several layers of lightweight, loose-fitting clothing. .

“If they’re starting to either overheat or feel cold, they should be getting inside and getting warm as soon as possible,” he said. .

Mitchell said Marylanders should also use caution what heat sources they use to stay warm, with some having increased risks of causing fires, electrical injuries, burns or carbon monoxide poisoning if not installed or used properly.

Marylanders in need of warming centers are encouraged to reach out to their local health department or to call 2-1-1 and provide their county location and ZIP code to get information about warming center locations, hours of operation and available accommodations.

By Timothy Young