Maryland's first cold-related death of season reported in Garrett County

As temperatures begin to plummet across Maryland this Thanksgiving weekend, state health officials are reporting the first hypothermia-related death of the season.

The man died in Garrett County. He was over 65, according to the Department of Health and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Last winter there were 61 cold-related deaths in Maryland.

Hypothermia can develop when body temperature falls below 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Frostbite can develop when skin temperature gets below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. The toes, fingers, ears, cheeks and the tip of the nose are most likely to freeze.

Anyone preparing to leave town for the holidays should pack a cold-weather emergency kit, says Fran Phillips, the deputy secretary for public health at the Maryland Department of Health.

“If you must go outside, prevent cold-related illness, like hypothermia, by wearing layers and protecting your nose, ears, toes and fingers. If you’re leaving town for the holiday weekend, pack a cold-weather emergency car kit with blankets, warm clothes, an ice scraper, and food and water,” Phillips said.

The Department of Health monitors temperature conditions and incidences of cold-related illnesses and deaths from November through March.

Maryland residents in need of housing or energy assistance to keep warm this winter should call 211 to see whether there are resources available to help. For more information on emergency preparedness, go to goo.gl/9aniHw.

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