A nationwide spike in whooping cough outbreaks is prompting health officials to warn parents to make sure their children are vaccinated and get followup booster shots, according to media reports.
Florida cases so far top 2011, with the biggest spikes in Miami-Dade and Broward, according to the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Epidemiology.
The total number of Florida cases through July 7 is 273, the Miami Herald reports. The highest numbers are in the southeast and central Floirda.
In all, 37 states are seeing higher numbers over last year, with Washington State declaring an epidemic.
How to Keep Kids Healthy
Whooping cough is a contagious respiratory disease that can spread by sneezing or coughing, the Miami Herald reports. The worst cases can cause pneumonia, seizures, shock or death.
Health officials are telling parents to make sure their children's shots are up to date.
Whooping cough, also known as pertussis, is worse in infants and can be fatal.
The symptoms are less severe in healthy teens and adults. But they may transmit whooping cough to young children.