Cold weather has killed nearly 250 people in Cook County since winter 2006

SHARE Cold weather has killed nearly 250 people in Cook County since winter 2006
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Chicago has appointed a chief resilience officer to plan for ways to recover from things such as the February 2011 blizzard. | AP file photo

Last winter was the worst year for cold-related deaths in Cook County in over a decade, with 43.

This year, since November, there have seven cold-related deaths, according to data from the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Looking at cold-related death data since the winter of 2006-2007, the Chicago Sun-Times found that the county has had at least 247 cold-related deaths, where cold was cited as at least a partial contributor to death.

The ages of the victims ranged from 2 years old to 99.

Here’s what else the data show:

• One in five of the cold-related deaths occurred on days the low temperature was below zero degrees Fahrenheit at O’Hare Airport, based on records at Weather Underground. The coldest day with a death was Jan. 6, 2014, when an 80-year-old man died in Blue Island on a day it hit 16 below zero. Last winter, the coldest day with a death was Jan. 1, when the temperature hit -9.

• About 15 percent of the cold-related deaths occurred on days when the temperature outdoors was above freezing.

• Just over a quarter of the cold-related deaths were also alcohol- or drug-related.

• Hypothermia was cited specifically as a cause in 47 percent of the deaths.

The interactive graphic below shows information on all 247 known cold-related deaths in Cook County since winter 2006-2007.

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