Whooping cough suspected in employee at Lawrence dialysis clinic

A Lawrence dialysis clinic is providing vaccines and antibiotics to its staff and patients after an employee was suspected of contracting pertussis, or whooping cough.

Dr. Scott Solcher, the medical director of the DaVita Lawrence dialysis clinic, said a staff member had been sent home and immediately treated because of suspicions of whooping cough, though that person has not been formally diagnosed with pertussis at this point.

“We’re treating everybody, anyway, just to be sure,” Solcher said.

Solcher said it was unclear if any patients had been exposed to the potentially infected staff member, but the clinic is offering to reimburse patients for the cost of antibiotics and a pertussis vaccination. He noted that most people have already been vaccinated against whooping cough, as well. The clinic will pay for those people to re-vaccinate.

Until recently, the clinic at 330 Arkansas St. was known as Kansas Dialysis Services.