Alaskan Whooping Cough Cases Increase

Influenza Numbers Also Up

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by Mike Ford

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) - Alaska health officials are reporting a sharp increase this year of pertussis, also known as whooping cough, as well as a recent spike in influenza cases.

Officials say more than 200 cases of pertussis have been reported in Alaska this year. That's significantly up from the yearly average of 42 from 2009 to 2011.

The state has confirmed 91 cases of flu in the past four weeks. Of those, the majority have come from Anchorage, the Mat-Su Valley and the interior.

Officials say vaccines are the best protection against both illnesses.

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