State Health Officials are reporting a sharp increase in cases of pertussis or whooping cough though out the state.
More than 200 cases of pertussis have been reported so far this year. Greg Wilkinson with the State Health Department said that this is a significant jump from the yearly average of 42 cases.
Wilkinson: “This is the most pertussis we’ve seen in Alaska since the year 2000. They’re having a huge outbreak down in Washington State, and we’re seeing five times as many cases as we do in a normal year. So we just want to encourage people to have their children vaccinated for pertussis, and if you’re a teenager above the age of 11 or an adult and you’ve never gotten a pertussis booster, you should get a pertussis booster.”
Wilkinson says the state also has seen 91 confirmed flu cases in the past four weeks. He said that flu vaccinations are the best way to prevent the spread of influenza
Wilkinson: “That means, people who haven’t gotten their flu shot, who think maybe they were going to wait, this is the time that they should go out and get that flu vaccine. Flu vaccine is recommended for anyone over 6-months of age that can get it. We always say, your flu vaccine protects me, my flu vaccine protects you. So do it for yourself, do it for the ones you love, we protect each other this way, and we can keep everyone from getting sick “