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Two Alaskans die with the flu

By KTVA CBS 11 News 5:54 PM December 31, 2013

News of the reported cases comes days after the state began tracking adult flu-related fatalities

ANCHORAGE – Two adults have died with the flu in Alaska.

The first was an adult from the interior who passed away between Dec. 24-25. The second was an adult from the Mat-Su Valley/Anchorage area who died Dec. 30, according to Dr. Michael Cooper, and epidemiologist with the state Department of Health and Social Services.

New regulations require the state to track flu deaths in adults as of Dec. 29, making the second death the first flu-related fatality required to be included in Alaska’s reporting.

In Alaska, about 200 cases of varying flu strains have been reported this month.

The state is recommending everyone get a flu shot because the virus this year is H1N1 — which hits young adults hard, Cooper said.

According to a report by the Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Alaska was unsuccessful in vaccinating at least half the population for the seasonal flu from 2012-2013.

You can receive a free vaccine from the state or Municipality of Anchorage through March.

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