Florida Department of Health Requests Testing for Whooping Cough in Broward County

The Florida Department of Health is asking Broward County healthcare providers to be on the lookout for possible cases of pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough. Numerous outbreaks have been reported across the U.S., with at least two cases linked to Broward County.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can be fatal in young children, particularly infants. Cold-like symptoms and sometimes fever typically develop within seven to ten days of exposure, although they can take as long as six weeks. Severe coughing usually develops one to two weeks later. The Department of Health recommends that anyone with a cough lasting longer than two weeks, or anyone with a paroxysmal cough, see a doctor to be tested.

“We are very concerned about a potential outbreak of pertussis in South Florida,” says Peter Lamelas, M.D., CEO of MD Now Urgent Care. “MD Now will be cooperating with the Department of Health to administer testing, prevention, and treatment,” he assures. “We will make the pertussis vaccine available at all MD Now Urgent Care locations in Broward, Palm Beach, and Miami-Dade counties.”

MD Now Urgent Care centers are open 365 days a year, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Dr. Lamelas recommends that those without symptoms take the preventive measure of getting vaccinated as early as possible. “Even if you’ve had the DTaP vaccine in the past, it fades with time,” he explains. “You’ll need to get a booster if it has been more than ten years since your last one.”

Dr. Lamelas also recommends keeping infants and those at high risk for complications away from infected individuals, “We want to do everything possible to minimize a potential outbreak, and prevention is the best way to do that. If someone in your household has already been diagnosed with pertussis, you may want to consider preventive antibiotics for the rest of the household.”

“At the very least,” Dr. Lamelas recommends, “practice good hygiene and cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.”

To learn more about our urgent care centers, call 888-MDNow-911 or visit www.MDNow.com.

MD Now® Urgent Care Walk-In Medical Centers is the leading provider of fast and affordable urgent care to adults and children in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade counties. Our state-of-the-art, walk-in medical centers are open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to deliver an affordable and convenient alternative to long emergency room wait times and the limited hours of family physicians. No appointment is necessary and major insurance plans are accepted. In addition to providing a comprehensive range of urgent care services to treat a variety of illnesses and injuries, our multiple locations offer digital x-rays, EKG, lab testing, physicals, immunizations, vaccines, physical therapy, occupational medicine, travel medicine and selected primary care services. Find the medical care you need with the convenience you want at MD Now. Call: 888-MDNow-911, online: www.MDNow.com.