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Md. Health Dept. Confirms 8 Heat-Related Deaths

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BALTIMORE (WJZ) —  Four more heat-related deaths are reported in Maryland.  That brings the total number to eight.  Five of those are from Baltimore City. Doctors are now warning people to stay out of the sun or find a place to cool off.

When temperatures get this high, emergency rooms start filling up with people dehydrated, or worse.

Monique Griego has new information on heat-related deaths.

Doctors say many people don’t realize how quickly the effects of the sun can sneak up on you. They’re encouraging everyone to find a place to stay cool.

Another day under a vicious sun as triple-digit temperatures come down on Baltimore.

“The humidity has made it unbearable. Doesn’t matter if you’re in the sun or shade,” Drew Green of Baltimore said.

“I’m sweating water. I’m feeling like a walking river right now,” Kenya Henderson said.

People sweating it out in the city tried to refuel, create their own shade or simply ditch a few layers in an effort to stay cool.

“It’s horrible. It’s just so hot and sweaty. Not a good feeling,” Gregory Eley said.

“Only way to keep cool– an umbrella, a fan and some water,” Sharon Jones said.

But when it’s this hot, the weather isn’t just uncomfortable. It can also be dangerous.

“We definitely see a lot more people who are dehydrated. They’re not anticipating it,” Dr. Michael Witting of the University of Maryland Medical Center said.

Witting works in the ER. He says people coming in are dehydrated, confused and weak. But things can get worse.

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) said the heat has already been blamed for eight deaths in Maryland alone– five deaths in Baltimore City, two in Montgomery County and one in Wicomico County. Most of them have been elderly people.

The department declares a heat advisory when the heat index hits or exceeds 105 degrees, according to the National Weather Service (NWS) criteria.

Besides the elderly and very young, Witting says there’s another group in the danger zone.

“Your regular people who are working out in the heat at high risk,” he said.

Construction crews really don’t have a choice when it comes to long, grueling hours under the sun.

The same goes for food truck workers.

“If it’s 95 degrees out here, it’s 105 in there,” worker said of his food truck.

They’ll continue to crank out hot meals in even hotter weather for one reason:

“Gotta make money, gotta keep going,” he said.

Because of the heat wave, Baltimore City is extending pool hours from Thursday through Saturday. All park pools will stay open from noon until 8 p.m. and walk-to pools will be open from noon until 6 p.m.

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