Health | National

Four Alaska Natives dead amid statewide outbreak of strep bacteria






The Forget Me Not group has raised awareness of issues facing Native homeless people in Alaska. Photo from Facebook

Four people have died from a new and invasive form of strep bacteria that has affected the two largest cities in Alaska.

The Group A Streptococcus bacteria has been confirmed in 10 cases in Fairbanks and 18 cases in Anchorage, the Department of Health and Social Services said on Tuesday. All of the deceased victims are Native, The Alaska Dispatch News and the Associated Press reported.

Most of the cases have afflicted middle-aged Alaska Native men. Of those in Anchorage, almost all were homeless, according to the state.

Native people are at a higher risk of invasive disease but state epidemiologist Joe McLaughlin told The Dispatch News that it's not clear why.

Read More on the Story:
4 dead this year as outbreak of new strep bacteria hits Alaska (Alaska Dispatch News 11/28)
Invasive strep outbreak claims lives of 4 Alaskans (AP 11/29)