Cold Weather Issues and Concerns

The Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene reminds residents that there are many serious health issues to consider during cold winter weather. As a result of exposure to cold, individuals may experience low body temperature, which may lead to hypothermia and even death. Freezing of exposed skin and tissues, such as the ears, nose, feet and face, may lead to frostbite, frostnip and trench foot. 

There are many factors that influence the effects of cold on individuals. Cold-related illness and injury may occur at moderate temperatures as a result of wind and humidity or an inability to properly heat the home during cold weather. Factors placing individuals at risk for cold-related illnesses include:
 
• Extremes of age
 
• Underlying chronic medical illnesses
and diseases, such as:
 
  • Psoriasis or extensive skin burns
  • Underactive thyroid
  • Underactive adrenal gland
 
• Alcohol use
 
• Physical condition
 
• Medications that can affect an
individual’s judgment, such as Valium
and phenobarbital
 
• Over-exertion and sweating while
outside
 
Signs of low body temperature include:
 
• Shivering
 
• Increased breathing, blood pressure and heart rate
 
• Pale white skin
 
• Amnesia
 
• Difficulty with muscle coordination
 
• Difficulty walking and talking
 
• Poor judgment, confusion and combativeness
 
• Fatigue
 
Treatment of hypothermia includes taking shelter, removing wet clothes, dressing in warm, dry clothes and re-warming the body.
 
As a result of the increased stress on the body, individuals working in the cold may experience heart attacks and strokes. Be sure to consult your physician or health care provider when considering tasks such as shoveling snow or any kind of exercise during severe winter weather. Frostbite results in pale frozen skin, with or without blisters, and frozen tissues that may be numb. Individuals with frostbite are advised to seek medical attention. Frostbitten tissues should not be rubbed and should be elevated. Refreezing of thawed frostbitten tissues must be avoided.
 
For more information on public health and emergency preparedness, visit http://preparedness.dhmh.maryland.gov and www.facebook.com/MarylandOPR
 
 

Substance Abuse Help

 

Zika Information

 

Rabies Information


     

WCHD News

All Worcester County Health Department office will be closed on Thursday, July 4th and Friday, July 5th for the holiday. Call 410-632-1100 for more information. 

Read more ...

Men's Health Month

The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury. The response has been overwhelming with thousands of awareness activities in the USA and around the globe.

Read more ...

Summer Wellness Camp

The Worcester County Health Department will host a free, week-long health and wellness camp for youth age 12-17 this summer. From June 17-21, campers will learn about the importance of health, fitness, setting personal goals and much more. The summer camp is part of Worcester Health’s Promoting Health Among Teens program and will feature guest speakers, snacks and lunch, learning activities and field trips to locations around Worcester including the Jolly Roger amusement park in Ocean City.

Read more ...

Legionella Facts

Legionella is a bacteria that can cause a type of pneumonia called Legionnaires' disease. The disease is caused by inhaling mist from water containing the bacteria. The bacteria are present in many different manmade and natural water systems. Each year, 8,000 - 18,000 people in the United States are hospitalized with Legionnaires' disease. The disease is usually treated successfully with antibiotics, but can sometimes be fatal. The disease is not spread from person to person. Certain groups of people are more likely to become seriously ill when infected with Legionella:

Read more ...

Move Your Way

Worcester is made for being active. Whether you walk, run, bike, swim, dance, explore local parks or move your own way, all physical activity offers benefits. Visit JustWalkWorcester.org to learn about ways to be active, amazing trails and the free Just Walk program.

Read more ...
 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program