“Back to school” vaccinations aren’t just for children anymore. With the recent scare of what could be the U.S.’ biggest outbreak of “whooping cough” in fifty years, health care providers like Doctors Express – warn parents to not only vaccinate their kids, but also vaccinate THEMSELVES from a disease that they are most likely to pass on to their own children.What Is “Whooping Cough?”• Pertussis, also known as “whooping cough” or the “100 day cough,” is a highly contagious, airborne disease that can be fatal. Those with pertussis usually spread the disease by coughing or sneezing while in close contact with others. • Whooping cough is most often spread to children by adults they have close contact with, such as older siblings, parents, grandparents, or other adults, such as caregivers, etc. • This year alone, nearly 18,000 cases of “whooping cough” have been reported in the U.S. and nine children have died.Solution: That’s why Doctors Express, the first ever national franchise of urgent care, is offering the Tdap vaccine for adults. This vaccinates against both whooping cough and can serve as a tetanus booster (or Td). “Our real concern is that 95 percent of toddlers are vaccinated for whooping cough while only 8 percent of adults have received the vaccination,” says Dr. Burger, Medical Director of Doctors Express. “Since adults most often pass on the disease to children, it’s critical that adults get vaccinated. Our urgent care is open late and on weekends, giving parents plenty of options to make sure they are vaccinated for the sake of our children.”Did You Know?CDC’s Rcommended Vaccination Schedule For Adults: The CDC recommends that adults receive a whooping cough vaccination at least two weeks before having close contact with an infant. • Age 19 – 65: You should substitute a one-time dose of Tdap for a Td booster. Then, boost with Td every ten years (your first dose of Tdap can happen before the traditional ten year mark of your Td booster – discuss with a physician).• Age 65 or older: If you plan on HAVING CLOSE CONTACT WITH A CHILD YOUNGER THAN 12 MONTHS OLD, the CDC encourages you to receive a Tdap vaccination.• Age 65 and older: If you will have NO CONTACT WITH AN INFANT, the CDC states you can choose to be vaccinated with Tdap or Td.Tell this story with a local doctor who can talk about the rising concern of whooping cough in the United States – and the importance of urgent cares offering “back to school” vaccinations for adults. We’re happy to set up interviews with Doctors Express physicians in your area.Whooping Cough Fast Facts: • Early symptoms are those of a common cold – runny nose, fever and cough. But that cough eventually turns into extreme coughing spells, leaving the victim gasping for air and making a “whoop” sound.• The highest rates of infection are in babies less than 12 months old.• Coughing fits due to pertussis infection can last for up to 10 weeks or more.• Since the 1980s, there has been an increase in the number of reported cases of pertussis in the United States. In 2010, there was an increase in cases among 7 – 10 year olds. Recently, health officials have seen an unusually high number of cases among 13 and 14 year olds.• More than half of infants less than 1 year of age who get pertussis are hospitalized.• Unvaccinated children are eight times more likely to be infected.• Pertussis is generally treated with antibiotics and early treatment is very important.• The vaccine is not 100 percent effective but the CDC states this is the best form of protection against the disease.CDC’s Recommended Whooping Cough Vaccination Schedule For Children:• Children should get a vaccination at 2, 4 and 6 months old (3 shots by the time they’re 6 months old).• Another vaccination when they’re 15-18 months old.• Another when they’re 4-6 years old.Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/pertussis/recs-summary.htm,http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6104a9.htm. About Doctors Express:Doctors Express was founded in Baltimore in 2005 by an emergency room physician seeking a more efficient, affordable and personable system for urgent care patients. In 2012, the business was acquired by Phoenix-based Immediate Clinic. Doctors Express walk-in medical centers are sweeping across the country as America’s first nationally branded urgent care centers. Much like an emergency room, Doctors Express always has physicians on staff. Doctors Express provides state-of-the-art treatment for acute illness, trauma and sports injuries (including minor surgical procedures) and has on-site laboratory and digital x-ray service as well as medication dispensing. Pre-employment physicals, drug screening and treatment of work related injuries are also available to local employers. Visit www.DoctorsExpress.com.