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Posted at 11:50 AM ET, 12/10/2009

Four Maryland residents die of hypothermia

By Washington Post editors

Four Maryland residents, including a man from Montgomery County and a man from Anne Arundel County have died this month of hypothermia, state officials reported today.

Two other victims -- a woman from Baltimore County and a woman from Baltimore City -- have also died since Nov. 21, officials said. The identities of the victims are not released for privacy reasons.

In a press release, John M. Colmer, secretary of the Maryland State Department of Health and Mental Hygiene cautioned people to be aware of the impact cold weather can have on health.

"Just a little preparation and common sense will keep you and your family safe and warm during the days and nights of sub-freezing temperatures this winter," he said. "We can save lives in severe weather by keeping our eyes open and checking our friends and neighbors, especially seniors. These tragedies can be avoided with just a small amount of caring, awareness and effort."

Hypothermia was a contributing factor in the deaths of 54 Marylanders during the 2008 - 2009 cold weather season.

In addition to hypothermia and frostbite, state officials said that residents need to be aware of carbon monoxide poisoning and injuries from heat sources. The department offers this list of winter safety tips.

By Washington Post editors  | December 10, 2009; 11:50 AM ET
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