PHOENIX (AP) - Arizona's top health official says a remote community long dominated by a polygamist sect is responsible for much of a recent increase in whooping cough in the state.
Department of Health Services Director Will Humble says Arizona has seen an increase of over 300% in the past several years.
Humble says many recent Arizona cases of whooping cough are part of an ongoing outbreak in the Colorado City area of the Arizona Strip, the part of northern Arizona located north of the Grand Canyon.
According to Humble, most of the Colorado City-area cases involve children and most either are unvaccinated or not up to date on their vaccinations.
Whooping cough is also known as pertussis. It's a highly contagious and potentially deadly respiratory disease associated with coughing fits.
Centers for Disease Control and PreventionPertussis (Whooping Cough) Fast Facts: www.cdc.gov/pertussisArizona Dept. of Health ServicesWhat is pertussis and how is it spread?http://1.usa.gov/Z41ACf
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press modified.
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