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Maryland Reports First Two Heat-Related Deaths

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Maryland is reporting its first two heat-related deaths of the year.

Dr. Clifford Mitchell with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene says heat-related deaths are preventable.

"One of the things we want the emphasize to people is: Don't wait for severe symptoms," Mitchell says. "If you're outside in the heat and you're even beginning to feel a little uncomfortable, that's the often the earliest sign of being overheated or slightly dehydrated."

Mitchell says the two victims had underlying medical conditions and were over 65, putting them at a higher risk. He says those who live alone or in poverty are also more prone. "If they don't have money for air conditioning and don't use their air conditioners, the heat inside some structures might get very high, even higher than the outside."

Mitchell suggests checking in on people to make sure they're hydrated and cool. He says there were 17 heat-related deaths last year, but it's not uncommon for the state to have 30 or 40.

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