The Harford County woman was the first person of the summer to die from the heat, the Harford County Health Department reported Thursday.
The woman was over the age of 65 and had underlying health conditions, according to the Maryland Department of Mental Health and Hygiene.
A man also over 65 who had underlying health conditions died of heat-related illness in Baltimore County during the same time period—June 17 to 23—the department reported.
Due to privacy reasons, officials could not provide more information about what the individuals were doing at the time of the heat-related distress.
However, the Harford County Health Department offered preventive measures people can follow to stay safe this summer.
- Limit exposure to excessive heat.
- Reduce activity.
- Dress in lightweight clothing.
- Stay hydrated with non-caffeinated, nonalcoholic beverages.
Harford County Health Department spokesman Bill Wiseman said that heat-related sickness is not exclusive to outdoor activity.
"You can be indoors, and a lot of elderly people think it's cooler if they close windows and turn on the fan; but if it's above 80 degrees, it's almost like being in a convection oven—you're not dissipating any of that heat," he added.The Harford County Health Department encouraged people to keep an eye on relatives, coworkers, friends, neighbors and pets this summer.
“Individuals of all ages need to be cautious when vigorously working or playing outdoors, since prolonged exposure to hot and humid weather conditions can result in potentially life-threatening heat-related illnesses and injuries," Harford County Health Officer Susan Kelly said.
"Make sure to take necessary precautions," Kelly said, "especially if [people] are young, elderly or ill."