With increased testing, comes a big one-day jump in Alaska cases of COVID-19, the Wuhan coronavirus. Some 59 Alaskans have now been diagnosed with the virus, which is extremely infectious and has no cure or vaccine.

Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer, said that two cases are in the hospital in critical care.

New cases include 11 cases in the Anchorage area, one case in Homer, two cases in Fairbanks-North Pole, and three more in Ketchikan. The Homer individual had traveled outside the state, did not return to Homer, and is in quarantined in Anchorage, according to MRAK sources.

Twenty-four of the current cases are travel-related, the others are either not known or spread by close contact with the person who traveled.

The cases discovered now are probably acquired some 10 days ago, said Dr. Jay Butler of the CDC, who spoke by phone during a press availability on Wednesday evening.

Butler said those who are dying from the virus are dying from pneumonia, and severe pneumonia is difficult to treat.

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