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Officials: Two dead in Maricopa County after getting West Nile virus
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Officials: Two dead in Maricopa County after getting West Nile virus

PHOENIX — Two people have died in Maricopa County after contracting West Nile virus, health officials said Friday.

The pair are the first deaths linked to the virus in 2015.

The victims were an East Valley man in his 60s and an East Valley woman in her 70s. Both had previous health problems.

The county said it has confirmed 17 cases of West Nile in humans while 71 mosquito samples have tested positive.

More than 1,000 people have been sickened by the virus since it arrived in Arizona in 2003. Last year, Maricopa County confirmed 93 cases and 12 deaths linked to the virus.