MEXICO CITY, Mexico (CNN) -- At least 31 Mexicans have died from causes relating to cold weather since early October, most of them from carbon monoxide poisoning, the government health ministry said Monday.
Carbon monoxide poisoning often occurs when charcoal grills, propane gas stoves or other fires are used as heat sources inside a dwelling that is not well ventilated. Few homes in Mexico have central heating.
Eighteen of the 31 deaths recorded from October 9 to January 22 were from carbon monoxide poisoning, the ministry said. The other 13 were from hypothermia.
The deaths were recorded in eight of Mexico's 31 states. Chihuahua, in northern Mexico, recorded the most deaths -- 10.
Extreme cold led to eight deaths during the second week of January in the states of Chihuahua, Sonora and Michoacan, health officials said.
Last year, the health ministry reported 52 weather-related deaths in the October-March cold weather season. Twenty-eight of those deaths were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning and 22 were from hypothermia, the ministry said.
In 2007, the ministry reported 113 Mexicans died from causes relating to the cold from October 2006 to March 2007.
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