WA health secretary updates pertussis outbreak

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SHORELINE, Wash. (AP) -- The Washington Health Department is responding to an outbreak of hundreds of cases of whooping cough that's on a pace to set a record number this year in the state.

Health Secretary Mary Selecky is holding a news conference Tuesday at a state laboratory in Shoreline to update the numbers, raise awareness among health care providers and tell families that the pertussis vaccine is the best prevention.

The disease -- known for coughing fits with a whooping sound -- is most dangerous for infants. Four have died in the previous two years in Washington.