health officials are advising residents to make sure they are up to date on
their vaccinations, especially ones that prevent the disease commonly known as
--(Whooping Cough 1 :07 ".....Coughing.....")
sound of Pertussis, an infection of the respiratory system that gets its nickname,
whooping cough, from the aspiratory whoop sound that often follows coughing
fits during the last six weeks of infection. Dr. Joe McLaughlin is a state
epidemiologist and chief of the Alaska Section of Epidemiology. He said this
year the United States
has seen a rise in the number of whooping cough cases.
--(Whooping Cough 2 :27 "
So far to date, as of July 9th, the CDC is reporting that we've had
17,000 in the U.S. and there are three states in particular that have been hit
quite hard with pertussis outbreaks: Washington state, our closest neighbor,
and Minnesota and Wisconsin. All three of those states are reporting cases in
McLaughlin said in previous
years all of those states have had less than 400 outbreaks for the entire year.
is far from an epidemic, he said the number of instances has also risen in the
--(Whooping Cough 3 :29 "
In Alaska, last year we had 24 cases reported, and this year we have almost
double that, I think we're at about 40 cases. So we've seen a little bump in
instances of pertussis here in Alaska.
And most of the cases have occurred in the Anchorage Mat-Su area and we have
had a handful of cases in the interior and a few in the Southwest and I think
one in the gulf coast region.")
numbers in Alaska, McLaughlin said our
proximity to Washington state does make
residents more at risk for spread, especially considering the amount of air
travel between Anchorage and Seattle. He advises residents to be vigilant
about respiratory hygiene and preventing the disease.
--(Whooping Cough 4 :15 "
By far, in a way, the very best way to do this is to get vaccinated. We're very
fortunate that there are two effective vaccines for pertussis. One is for
children and infants, and the other is for preteens, teens and adults.")
said vaccines cost around $20-40 without insurance. He said they are readily
available at most health clinics throughout the state.