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Maricopa County confirms first heat-related death of 2016

(Flickr and AP photos)

PHOENIX — Officials have confirmed the first heat-related death of 2016 in Maricopa County, it was announced Tuesday.

The Maricopa County Department of Public Health said an unidentified elderly woman was found in her backyard in early June suffering from the heat. She was otherwise healthy.

“This is a sad reminder about how seriously we need to take our heat here in the desert,” Dr. Rebecca Sunenshine, medical director for the Disease Control Division at Maricopa County Department of Public Health, said in a press release.

“Even being outdoors less than an hour can cause serious heat-related illness, especially among the most vulnerable populations, such as the elderly.”

While it is unknown when the woman is found, Phoenix did experience a heat wave in early June that set the thermometer soaring as high as 115 degrees and broke four consecutive heat records.

An excessive heat warning was issued. It urged people to stay indoors during the hottest part of the day and to remain hydrated.

The Valley is predicted to get another nasty warm spell this weekend, with the mercury possibly topping out as high as 120 degrees. If that number is reached, it would be one of the hottest days ever recorded in Phoenix.

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