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
 
 

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WCHD News

Worcester County Health Department encourages residents to take part in the 2nd Annual 1 Billion Steps Challenge through the American Public Health Association. Last year, Worcester walked more than six million steps in the winter and spring, coming in third place among nearly 700 teams across the country. This year, taking part in 1 Billion Steps is easier than ever: individuals and teams can register online using the Stridekick app for smartphones and other devices. The challenge begins on January 1, 2018, and ends on April 8, 2018.

To sign up for Worcester Health's team on Stridekick, click here. For more information, call 410-632-0056.

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Baltimore, MD (December 7, 2017) – The 14th Annual Maryland Health Equity Conference, which focuses on needed coordination, collaboration, and available opportunities to address population health and health disparities in Maryland, was held today in Baltimore.

Read more ... Due to inclement weather, the Just Walk Making Strides event scheduled for today is rescheduled for 5-6 p.m. on October 18 at Byrd Park in Snow Hill. For more information, please call 410-632-0056.  Read more ...
Snow Hill, Md. – The Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program would like to announce this year’s open enrollment period which begins on November 1, 2017 through December 15, 2017 for Qualified Health and/or Dental plans. During this time, certified Navigators are available to assist individuals and families with the application and enrollment process into a private plan through the state marketplace, Maryland Health Connection.  
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Snow Hill, MD- Worcester County Health Department is pleased to announce that the agency received a three-year, federal grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) to fund a Rural Health Opioid program in Worcester. 
 
The grant is $250,000 annually and will support Worcester County’s ongoing coordination and response to the local opioid epidemic. The funding will be used to support efforts to reduce heroin/opioid use and overdose deaths; utilize outreach and motivational strategies to encourage and engage individuals into treatment, provide care coordination for individuals with opioid use disorder (OUD), implement a public awareness campaign to reduce stigma associated with addiction treatment, and support individuals in recovery.
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 Lower Shore Health Insurance Assistance Program