What Is Whooping Cough?

As a whooping cough epidemic is growing in southern California, it is important to be informed about the condition, its diagnosis, and its treatment. Here, we’ve compiled some answers from our doctors to provide a basic understanding about whooping cough. For more information, visit our Whooping Cough topic page or ask a new question.


What is whooping cough?

“Pertussis (whooping cough) is a contagious bacterial disease, and often causes violent, uncontrollable coughing. Difficulty breathing may also occur.” – Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge

What is the timespan of whooping cough?

“Symptoms of whooping cough develop after a typical incubation period of 7 to 10 days (range: 5 to 21 days).Initially symptoms are similar to a common cold, but then progress to significant paroxysms of cough which are notable for an inspiratory “whoop”. Symptoms slowly resolve over weeks. The classic illness generally lasts 6-10 weeks. Routine childhood immunization is the best protection.” – Dr. John D. Simpson

What other health problems are caused by whooping cough?

“Besides the terrible cough, whooping cough (in young babies) can cause cessation of breathing (apnea), seizures, and death.” – Dr. Roy G. Benaroch

How can whooping cough be cured?

“Whooping cough, or pertussis, is caused by a bacterial infection so treatment is with antibiotics prescribed by your doctor. So, see your doctor for diagnosis and treatment. Vaccines largely prevent this disease.” – Dr. Sue Ferranti

What are the defining features of whooping cough?

“Whooping cough is diagnosed formally by testing for the bacterium that causes it. Most of us know it, however, from the funky cough it causes. After a bunch of coughing, there’s a sharp inhalation of breath that sounds like ‘whoooop’. The sound comes from air moving quickly through a swollen, narrowed airway. If you think you or someone you know has it, get to a doctor as soon as you can.” – Dr. Ronda Alexander

How long is pertussis (whooping cough) considered contagious after symptoms begin?

“If pertussis is treated and you have started antibiotics you are contagious for about 5 to 7 days. If you are not treated the period extends from 3 to 6 weeks.” – Dr. Josephine Ruiz Healy


Got more questions about Whooping Cough? Ask a HealthTap doctor now!

AppRx: Doctor-Recommended Alternative Medicine Apps

stk314099rknEvery week, we bring you AppRx—high-quality health, fitness and wellness apps reviewed and recommended by HealthTap’s network of 60,000 top doctors. In this week’s edition, we take a look at some doctor-recommended Alternative Medicine apps.

 

 

 

 

 


 

1. About Herbs

AppRx | About Herbs | HealthTapDescription: In this app, their Integrative Medicine Service, under the leadership of a pharmacist and botanicals expert, provides comprehensive, objective information about herbs, botanicals, supplements, complementary therapies, and more. Learn More.

Recommended By: 95 Doctors

Available On: iOS – FREE

 


 

2. Drugs.com Medication Guide

AppRx | Drugs.com Medication Guide | HealthTapDescription: The easiest way to lookup drug information, identify pills, check interactions and set up your own personal medication records. All mobile-optimized to speed up your browsing experience. Learn More.

Recommended By: 68 Doctors

Available On: Android – FREE

 


3. GoodRx

AppRx | GoodRx | HealthTapDescription: GoodRx lists a number of pharmacies that have many popular generic drugs for less than $4 per fill, and some where they even provide certain prescriptions for free! Learn More.

Recommended By: 56 Doctors

Available On: iOS – FREE

 


 

4. Breathing Zone

AppRx | Breathing Zone | HealthTapDescription: Breathing Zone uses a clinically proven therapeutic breathing technique that decreases your heart rate, and over time can even help lower High Blood Pressure. There are no complicated settings and no difficult breathing patterns to master. All you need to do is breathe in and out according to the guide. Anyone can it. Learn More.

Recommended By: 53 Doctors

Available On: Android – FREE

 


5. RxmindMe Prescription / Medicine Reminder and Pill Tracker

AppRx | RxmindMe Prescription / Medicine Reminder and Pill Tracker | HealthTapDescription: RxmindMe is a reminder app for your medications, vitamins and supplements. It allows you to enter all your dosage information, set up reminders and keep track of when you take them. Learn More.

Recommended By: 45 Doctors

Available On: iOS – FREE

 


 

6. Home Remedies (Free)

AppRx | Home Remedies (Free) | HealthTapDescription: Complete guide to Home Remedies and Natural Cures for Common Ailments. Learn how you can use natural cures to replace many of the most commonly used over-the-counter drugs in the treatment of common ailments. Learn More.

Recommended By: 37 Doctors

Available On: Android – FREE

 


 

7. Reflexology

AppRx | Reflexology | HealthTapDescription: Want to promote relaxation, improved circulation, reduction of pain, soothe tired feet, and encourage overall healing in yourself or others? Its all here. This app answers your questions, gives you the latest tips, techniques, and news. Learn More.

Recommended By: 19 Doctors

Available On: iOS – $0.99

 


 

8. Medicinal Herbs Bible

AppRx | Medicinal Herbs Bible | HealthTapDescription: Medicinal Herbs Bible is an application containing information over 330 traditional medicinal herbs and plants. For every type of herb included, you can reference a photo of the herb, description of the material, and information about the herb and its uses. Learn More.

Recommended By: 14 Doctors

Available On: Android – $0.99

 


 

For more Alternative Medicine apps, visit HealthTap today!  And stay tuned for next week’s edition, Top 10 Anatomy Apps!

 

Answers to your Ebola Virus Questions

Viral_infectionAs the Ebola outbreak in West Africa rages on, Ebola coverage is everywhere. But what exactly is the Ebola virus? How is it transmitted? In this post, we’ll answer basic questions about the virus. 


What is the Ebola virus?

“Ebola virus, one of two members of the family of filoviruses, causes a severe hemorrhagic fever with 50–90% human mortality. That no vaccines or treatments are yet available combined with the frequent re-emergence of the virus, its high prevalence among wildlife, and ease of importation of the virus make it a significant public health concern.” - Dr. Ahmad M. Hadied

When was Ebola discovered?

“Ebola was first recognized in 1976 as the cause of outbreaks of disease in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (then known as Zaire) and in Sudan. Ebola produces one of the most deadly forms of viral hemorrhagic fevers. Exactly how the ebola virus enters cells is unknown at present. The ebola virus appears to infect many different cell types. It can infect various mammals, not just primates.” – Dr. Robert Kwok

How is the Ebola virus spread?

“By contact with the body fluids of infected people. Some animals presumably serve as reservoirs of infection between human outbreaks, but the details haven’t been worked out.” – Dr. Joel Gallant

What cells does the Ebola virus infect?

“Ebola virus is the cause of a very serious form of hemorrhagic febrile illness that has a very high mortality rate. Ebola virus can infect several types of human cells. One of the most important of these is human lymphocytes.” – Dr. Charles Sturgis

How can you avoid getting the virus?

“Do not go near anyone who has the disease.” – Dr. Susan Arnoult

Could the Ebola virus wipe out the entire population?

“No. The strains of ebola that affect humans spreads via contact with blood or body fluids that can be prevented by appropriate barrier protection. In the developed world, this will not decimate the human race.” – Dr. Larry Lutwick

How can others be prevented from getting the virus?

“Ebola has no cure or meaningful treatment other than to provide support to failing systems until the person recovers. The patient must be placed in a level 4 isolation to prevent spread.” – Dr. William Walsh

What is inside the Ebola virus?

“Each ebola virion contains one molecule of single-stranded, negative-sense RNA (genetic material). New viral particles are created by budding from the surface of their hosts’ cells. I am attaching two very good links to the cdc about ebola virus. http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/ http://www.Cdc.Gov/vhf/virus-families/filoviridae.Html.” – Dr. Charles Sturgis

Is Ebola hemorrhagic fever the same thing as the Ebola virus?

“The ebola virus is the organism that causes ebola hemorrhagic fever.” – Dr. Joel Gallant

What are the symptoms of the Ebola virus?

“In ebola virus signs and symptoms typically begin abruptly within five to 10 days of infection. Early signs and symptoms include fever, severe headache, joint and muscle aches, chills, sore throat, weakness. Over time, symptoms become increasingly severe and may include: nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, red eyes, raised rash, chest pain and cough, stomach pain, severe weight loss, bleeding.” – Dr. Ahmad M. Hadied

For more information about the Ebola virus including conditions, symptoms, treatments and tests, as well as answers from top U.S. doctors, visit HealthTap’s Ebola Virus page and check out our “Ebola Update” blog post.

Reinventing Healthcare with HealthTap Prime

09-TAKE-ACTION-Customized-Checklists-HealthTapAfter more than a year in the making – and just hours before we share the labor of our work and love with the world – a burst of joy and surge of energy has jolted through our new HealthTap office on University Avenue.

Everyone in the unbelievable HealthTap team was pitching in.  Some were debugging final small issues to ensure an amazing user experience; others were on a “dress rehearsal” call with a super excited doctor eager to start his or her first virtual consult shift on HealthTap Prime in just a few short hours.

This is a memorable and special moment in our lives, and in the history of humankind.  Each of us separately, and all of us together, have a rare opportunity to “write history” and make magic happen, by bringing hope, health and joy to many millions everywhere. In just a few hours we will help change the world for the better.  Everyone in my amazing team is an artisan who shared in the creation of the beautiful new reality that we will share with everyone.

And all we needed to do, was to simply imagine!

  • We imagined a world where we could design a method for billions of people to be happier and healthier :)
  • We imagined a world where we could create an experience that will positively impact the lives of our loved ones, but also the lives of people we’ve never met before!
  • We imagined a world where we could build one of the most amazing technology projects the world has ever seen, and launch it to millions who will instantly benefit from it.
  • We also imagined a world where what we’ve designed, built, and shaped will be the “launch pad for humanity” to expand life expectancy, and (most importantly) help billions everywhere feel good!

10-TAKE-ACTION-Reminders-Tips-HealthTapI am privileged to be surrounded by such an amazing group of people who are so much fun to work with, and with whom “impossible” always becomes “I’m Possible” in a heartbeat.
Over the past 3 years HealthTap has revolutionized healthcare, by providing hundreds of millions worldwide with free access to the world’s largest repository of high quality health answers, tips, and reviews—and the only such collection of trusted health information that is fully created, curated and edited by doctors.

I’m very excited to share with you that today we are once again transforming healthcare with our new digital health platform. Last year, when we started our research into what would become the new HealthTap, we’d already served more than 100 million people.  What we’re releasing today responds to the needs of these many people. We’re thrilled to introduce to the world a comprehensive end-to-end mobile healthcare experience that will enable millions everywhere to learn more about their health, get help from top doctors in real-time, and take action to feel good everyday.

The amazing HealthTap team is introducing to the world a true work of digital h06-GET-HELP-VideoChat--HealthTapealth art that includes:

  • Live Virtual Consults.  HealthTap Prime members receive unlimited medical advice in Virtual Consults from top doctors via HD video, audio, and chat, 24/7 from any mobile device or web browser. They also get prescriptions and refills delivered straight to their homes or their local pharmacy.
  • Actionable checklists. Our leading doctors have also created thousands of customized checklists that help people manage their health and reach hundreds of different goals, from healthy living, to pregnancy, to managing a chronic condition.
  • Curated news and apps. Our doctor carefully review and rate news articles and mobile apps on a comprehensive array of health topics
  • Personalized Feeds. Each member receives a customized feed of answers, news and tips, a first-of-its kind feed based on each member’s individual Health Graph—a proprietary custom digital map of a user’s personal health and well-being.
  • Beautiful new design. A new simplified and streamlined design with faster performance and even more engaging user experience

To stay true to our mantra that healthcare is a human right, most all of the new features in this groundbreaking release remain free (including personalized, text based access to doctor answers, tips, news, checklists and app reviews). Additionally, for an affordable fee, we’re also offering our Concierge Medicine for Everyone service—HealthTap Prime, with full access to all of these features, including live consults, prescriptions and customized checklists from anytime anywhere from any mobile device or web browser.  Take advantage of our launch special family package and subscribe to HealthTap Prime today!

To health and smiles,

Ron Gutman
Founder & CEO

Ebola Update: Officials Watching Outbreak Closely

Ebola Virus - What you need to know | HealthTap

The current Ebola outbreak has not spread beyond West Africa, according to public health officials  who are nevertheless watching it closely, and with great concern. So far, the outbreak has killed more than 670 people since February.

According to the CDC, people who may have been in contact with the virus are generally monitored for fever for 21 days and only about 50 percent of patients show extreme symptoms that can include bleeding from the eyes, ears and nose. Others have only a fever as an early symptom.

Early treatment may lead to higher survival rates with treatment focusing on replenishing fluids, maintaining proper blood pressure, replacing lost blood, and treating related infections. Treatment is limited to supportive therapy.

According to Bloomberg news, historically, Ebola virus disease in Africa has killed as many as 90 percent of people who are infected. In this outbreak, the fatality rate is closer to 60 percent, according to Stephen Monroe, deputy director at the CDC’s National Center for Emerging & Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

Concern for International Travelers  

Quoting CDC experts, Bloomberg News reports that symptoms appear from two days to three weeks after infection, meaning it’s possible for an infected person who doesn’t feel ill to board a plane, but unlikely because most people currently infected are too ill to sit up or walk.

But while an infected person who sneezes or coughs directly in another person’s face could infect that person, Ebola primarily enters the body through tiny cuts or abrasions, or through mucus membranes of the eyes, nose, ears and mouth, making it less likely to spread through air travel, said Ben Neuman, a virologist at the University of Reading.

The CDC is issuing an alert to U.S. doctors and health-care providers that will focus of the importance of asking patients about their travel history and outlining the symptoms of Ebola virus disease.

Experimental treatments have been tested and proven effective in animal models but haven not yet been used in humans.

Key Points to Know:

  • Ebola is  Ebola hemorrhagic fever because bleeding is the hallmark of serious disease
  • Symptoms are similar to many viral illnesses, with fever, muscle pains, and nausea and vomiting. It turns deadly with development of bleeding.
  • The time from exposure to onset of symptoms can be as long as 21 days.
  • Unlike influenza or measles, ebola is difficult to transmit, requiring close contact or sharing of bodily fluids (including sexual relations)
  • Men who survive Ebola may transmit the disease sexually (condoms recommended for 3 months after surviving ebola)

For more information about the Ebola virus including conditions, symptoms, treatments and tests, as well as answers from top U.S. doctors, visit HealthTap’s Ebola Virus page.

Sources: Centers for Disease Control, World Health Organization, Doctors Without Borders, Bloomberg News, and the doctors at HealthTap.