WA asking for CDC help in whooping cough epidemic



SEATTLE (AP) — The state Health Department is asking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help battle the whooping cough epidemic in Washington.

Health Secretary Mary Selecky is asking the CDC to send a special team of investigators and epidemiologist.

Selecky is briefing Sen. Maria Cantwell about the situation Friday at a state lab in Shoreline.

Selecky declared on April 3 that pertussis was an epidemic in the state. More than 1,100 cases have been reported this year — 10 times the number at this time last year.

Gov. Chris Gregoire announced Thursday the state is putting $90,000 into a public awareness campaign and diverting some federal money to pay for 27,000 doses of vaccine.

Adults are urged to get the shot to prevent spreading the disease to infants.