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Heat a factor in three Md. deaths

The July heat has been linked to the deaths of three more Maryland residents, bringing the season's total to nine, according to the state Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

All three deaths occurred last week, as temperatures rose into the 100s for three straight days in much of Central Maryland. The victims included an elderly Baltimore City woman, and middle-aged men in Somerset and Prince George's counties.

Medical examiners said all three had underlying illnesses that also played a role in their deaths. Two of the three died on days when Heat Advisories were in effect, with Heat Index values of 105 degrees or higher.

State health authorities also reported Tuesday that 478 people whose "chief complaint" was heat-related illness, were seen July 19-23 in Maryland emergency rooms. The numbers peaked at 115 people on Friday, the hottest day of the week.

The temperature Friday at BWI-Marshall Airport reached 106 degrees; it was 108 in downtown Baltimore. They were the highest readings on record for both locations.

Maryland weather blog: Frank Roylance on meteorology

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