Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said the study found the heat-related deaths in 2012 were four times the typical average for those states -- Maryland, Ohio, Virginia and West Virginia -- for the same two-week period from 1999-09.
"No one should die from a heat wave, but extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather event," a statement by the CDC said. "Extreme heat can lead to very high body temperatures, brain and organ damage, and even death. People suffer heat-related illness when their bodies are unable to properly compensate and cool themselves."
During high temperatures and high humidity people should:
-- Going to an air-conditioned place and wearing light, loose clothing.
-- Staying hydrated by drinking more water than usual and avoiding drinks with alcohol, caffeine, or carbonation.
-- Staying informed by tuning in to heat-related alerts in your area.
-- Watch for symptoms such as muscle cramping, heavy sweating, rapid heartbeat, nausea, or fainting.