FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – A nasty bug has been making its way around South Florida, making everyone miserable in its path.

“I’m up all night coughing,” complained Luanne Johnstone as she sits in the emergency room at North Broward Medical Center.   “I got, like a real heavy chest and a headache.”

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She has what so many people have, an annoying cough that just won’t stop.

Justin Wilson has the same problem.

“Basically every time I would take a deep breath and I coughed, Bam!  Headache,” said Wilson.

He’s in the emergency room with his parents after, what appeared to be the flu, turned into a nagging cough that wouldn’t quit.

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“It’s horrible,” says his mom Carleine Romain.   “He still has this persistent dry cough which is very painful for him and it does not allow him to catch any sleep,” she said.  “So the worst part of this is he cannot sleep.”

That cough turned into pneumonia.

Dr. Nabil El Sanadi, the head of emergency medicine for Broward Health, told CBS4’s Ted Scouten that he is seeing a lot of patients with what appears to be the flu,who eventually are coughing up a storm days and sometimes weeks later.  For the most part, he said the worst is over in a day or two, but watch out for other complications.

“If things start getting a lot worse, high fevers, 102-103,” Dr. El Sanadi said. “If you start seeing a purulent discharge, yellow or green discharge from either the lungs or the nose, that may be a sign that you need to seek professional medical help. “

And be careful not to spread it.

“If you’re coughing or sneezing make sure you over your mouth,” said Dr. El Sanadi.  “Either cough in your sleeve or cover your mouth.”

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He also suggests frequent hand washing, which lasts at least 15 to 20 seconds.  Dr. El Sanadi also advises if you’re sick, stay home from work or school.

Ted Scouten