Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Video: Measles remains a menace

You don't hear much about the measles anymore, but health officials in Philadelphia are keeping an eye on an outbreak in that city. To date, there have been eight confirmed since the investigation began in December.


When is a cough a concern?

Hearing a chorus of coughs is typical at this time of year. An occasional cough is normal and healthy. A cough that persists for several weeks or brings up discolored or bloody mucus may indicate a condition that needs medical ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Why do people get sick with viruses in the winter?

Respiratory viruses like COVID-19 and influenza surge in the colder months. And it's not just because people are spending more time indoors. Dr. Matthew Binnicker, director of the Clinical Microbiology Molecular Lab and co-director ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Croatia struggles to contain whooping cough epidemic

Croatia was struggling to contain a whooping cough epidemic that health officials said Wednesday was due in part to a drop in inoculation rates linked to the growth of the anti-vaccine movement.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

AI use in Mozambique jails spawns new hope in TB fight

A program using artificial intelligence to test inmates in a high security Mozambican jail for tuberculosis has spawned hope that the new tech can help eradicate the disease.

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A cough ( pronunciation (help·info) Latin: tussis) is a sudden and often repetitively occurring reflex which helps to clear the large breathing passages from secretions, irritants, foreign particles and microbes. The cough reflex consists of three phases: an inhalation, a forced exhalation against a closed glottis, and a violent release of air from the lungs following opening of the glottis, usually accompanied by a distinctive sound. Coughing can happen voluntarily as well as involuntarily.

Frequent coughing usually indicates the presence of a disease. Many viruses and bacteria benefit evolutionarily by causing the host to cough, which helps to spread the disease to new hosts. Most of the time, coughing is caused by a respiratory tract infection but can be triggered by choking, smoking, air pollution, asthma, gastroesophageal reflux disease, post-nasal drip, chronic bronchitis, lung tumors, heart failure and medications such as ACE inhibitors.

Treatment should target the cause; for example, smoking cessation or discontinuing ACE inhibitors. Some people may be worried about serious illnesses, and reassurance may suffice. Cough suppressants such as codeine or dextromethorphan are frequently prescribed, but have been demonstrated to have little effect.[citation needed] Other treatment options may target airway inflammation or may promote mucus expectoration. As it is a natural protective reflex, suppressing the cough reflex might have damaging effects, especially if the cough is productive.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA