Maryland Department of Health officials have announced the first cold-related illness death of the 2022-2023 winter season in the city of Baltimore.
Officials said Friday that a woman that was “in the 60 to 70 age range” died from a cold-related illness — an announcement that comes amid concerns about the spread of respiratory illnesses like RSV and COVID-19 during the winter months.
The department said that people should limit their time outside and focus on avoiding exposure to cold weather, and insulating toes, fingers and other extremities. MDH also encouraged caution when it comes to using heat sources to stay warm this winter.
“Marylanders should use caution while using various heat sources to stay warm,” the department cautioned. “Some heating sources can cause fires, electrical injuries, burns, or carbon monoxide poisoning if not installed, operated, and maintained properly. Check heat sources to ensure they are safe prior to use, install carbon monoxide detectors, and never use an oven as a heat source for the home.”
Marylanders looking for a warming center can contact a local health department or dial 211 for more information.
In 2021, the first cold-related illness death came on Dec. 14 and the season saw 57 cold-related deaths. A final report for the 2021-22 season was not available.