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BURLINGTON, NC (AP) – Health officials say there appear to be 82 cases of whopping cough in Alamance County.

Officials say the outbreak started in December.

The Alamance County Health Department said Thursday a vaccine will be free for a limited time. The vaccine is usually $35. A communitywide vaccination clinic will be held next month.

Five elementary schools, four middle schools, two day cares and three other people in the county have been affected.

Officials say the illness usually results in a series of five to 15 coughs without a breath between them, followed by breathing difficulty.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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