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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Health officials said cases of the potentially life-threatening respiratory syncytial virus have risen 40 percent in Arizona this season when compared to the same period a year earlier.

According to the Arizona Daily Star, 70 cases have been reported statewide as of Nov. 24 and that the majority of cases were reported in Maricopa, Navajo and Pinal counties.

Health officials said it's difficult to say whether this season will be any different from others.

The virus typically peaks in February.

Most of the cases are in children under the age of 5.

While most children are infected with the virus by their second birthdays, only a small percentage develops severe disease.

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Information from: Arizona Daily Star, http://www.azstarnet.com

Associated Press,

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