CHICAGO (STMW) — At least 23 people have died of cold-related causes in Cook County this season, the most since 2008-09, with the latest being a Humboldt Park man and an Austin woman.

A 39-year-old man who died at his Northwest Side home in the Humboldt Park neighborhood in January brought the total cold-related deaths of the season to 22, authorities said.

Rigberto Avila died Jan. 23 at his home in the 1100 block of North Hamlin Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.

Delayed autopsy results found Avila died of hypothermia due to cold exposure, with ethanol intoxication as a contributing factor, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The season’s 23rd cold-related death came Feb. 27, when 64-year-old Ernestine Felters died at her home in the 1700 block of North Luna Avenue, according to the medical examiner’s office.

An autopsy found she died of hypothermia and cold exposure, and her death was ruled an accident, according to the medical examiner’s office.

The last time the county had more than 20 cold-related deaths was the winter of 2008-09, when 23 people died of cold-related causes, officials said. Last winter and the winter of 2011-12 each had 14 cold-related deaths in the county.

(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2014. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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