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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Whooping cough is a very dangerous disease, especially for babies.

The disease, caused by bacteria, is intense and leads to horrible coughing fits that can last for up to 10 weeks. If a newborn catches it, it could be fatal.

The scariest fact is that whooping cough is spread through person to person contact, and babies usually catch it from someone in their own home.

Make sure you get your babies vaccinated on time, and this includes pregnant women getting vaccinated, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends pregnant women get vaccinated in the third trimester of each pregnancy.

Also, if you’re over 19 years of age and have any contact with newborns, you should get the T-DAP vaccine.

Talk to your healthcare provider today. A newborn’s life may literally be at stake.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — If new research is true, losing inches from your waistline could be as easy as standing up.

According to a study published in European Heart Journal, those who spent two hours walking rather than sitting had waistlines that were three inches smaller on average. The study also found that those who spent less time sitting and more time walking were healthier and had a lower risk of heart disease.

Researchers put activity monitors on 782 men and women for seven days, tracking how long each person laid down, sat, stood or walked. They also tracked the participants' height, weight, blood pressure, waist size and even took note of their sugar, fat and cholesterol levels.

The data revealed that most people spent nine hours, on average, sitting down, which is 60 percent of the time that they're awake. Still, those who stood more versus sitting had, on average, lower levels of sugar, fat and cholesterol in the blood, had a healthier BMI and a thinner waistline.

"We found that time spent standing rather than sitting was significantly associated with lower levels of blood sugar and blood fats," researcher Dr. Genevieve Healy, of Queensland University, said.

She added, "However, it is important to say that not all sitting is bad — but if people can incorporate alternatives to sitting wherever possible, it may benefit their heart and metabolic health. Our message is to 'Stand Up, Sit Less, Move More.'"

Researchers suggest that those who work in an office should walk around more during office hours and use stand-up desks rather than sitting for hours at work stations.

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Hemera/Thinkstoc(NEW YORK) — The Legionnaire’s disease outbreak in New York City continues to get worse with health officials now reporting 86 people infected and 7 deaths of people with the disease.

The New York City Health Department reported that the all those who died had underlying medical problems and were older adults. Of those infected 64 had to be hospitalized. The disease is caused by Legionnella bacteria and is spread through water droplets that are inhaled. It can be spread through fountains, shower heads, pools or air conditioning cooling towers.

Currently, five cooling towers in the South Bronx have tested positive for legionella bacteria. In those cases, the air inside the building isn’t generally affected, instead it the air conditioners let off cooling mist from the top of the building which then can infect people passing by the area.

Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University Medical School, said the large outbreak is concerning as health officials still don’t know specifically what the source of the outbreak is and how everyone infected was exposed.

“Are their clusters of association…at a house of worship at this, that or the other function?” said Schaffner. “This is an extraordinary cluster, why in the Bronx and not in Brooklyn or Manhattan for example.”

While cooling towers have tested positive for the bacteria, Dr. Stephen Morse, an infectious disease expert at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, explained the bacteria is naturally occurring in the environment.

“What surprises me more is that we don’t see it more often, it’s common in cooling towers or central air conditioning systems,” he said. “You’re going to find it in a lot of places where there are no reports of people being sick.”

To stop the outbreak the New York City Health Department is taking steps including talking to doctors, reaching out to community leaders and attempting to match the bacteria making patients sick with the bacteria found in various cooling units. New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio said in a statement he would introduce legislation designed to cut down on Legionnaire’s disease outbreaks.

“The comprehensive package will address inspections, new recommended action in the case of positive tests, and sanctions for those who fail to comply with new standards,” de Blasio said in a statement. “Legionnaires’ Disease outbreaks have become far too common over the past ten years.”

Summer and fall are when more cases of Legionnaire’s disease are diagnosed according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. New York is not the only state grappling with the disease. In Michigan a woman reportedly died suddenly after contracting the


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ABC News(TACOMA, Wash.) -- When Alicia Wheatley of Tacoma, Washington, worried about how to to pay for the ongoing medical care her toddler needs to treat an eye disorder, she found help in an unlikely place: Online crowdfunding.

Wheatley’s daughter Chayla is just 2 years old and suffers from amblyopia in her right eye. The disorder causes decreased vision, and Chayla needs multiple eye surgeries to correct it or she could risk going blind in the eye.

Chayla wears an eye patch to strengthen the muscles in her eye, but it’s only a temporary solution.

Trying to pay for Chayla’s surgeries is putting the Wheatleys in a position they never imagined.

“We’re done everything right to get where we are, and we still can’t afford good healthcare,” Wheatley said. “It breaks my heart.”

Her husband Ray Wheatley's military job was cut due to a troop draw down and the family’s military health insurance, which did cover some of Chayla's medical care, will run out in a matter of months. His new civilian job pays less and what his future insurance will cover is uncertain.

So friends and family recommended they going online and crowd-fund to pay Chayla’s treatment, using the same sort of online fundraisers, such as GoFundMe, Kickstarter, GiveForward and YouCaring.com, that inventors, entrepreneurs and struggling filmmakers use to launch their projects.

So Alicia Wheatley launched an online campaign through a website called GiveForward, setting a fundraising goal of $10,000 and hoped for the best.

GiveForward has about 14,000 medical fundraisers, most, the company says, are people who actually have health insurance but still need help paying for treatments that aren't covered. Medical crowdfunding has been successful for many families, and an estimated $2.5 billion was raised in 2012, according to a report by research firm Massolution.

There have been some instances of crowdfunding fraud, where people have pretended to be sick or misuse the money, but GiveForward said those instances are rare. The company said they have stringent security systems in place to make sure those asking for money are legit. But with federal regulation still evolving, experts caution that consumers should do their research before donating.

Crowdfunding has worked for other families in the past. Patrick and Kristin Wilkinson of San Francisco raised over $20,000 on GiveForward so that their 4-month-old son Phoenix could get a bone marrow transplant.

“I think the hardest part is feeling helpless,” Kristin Wilkinson said. “As parents you’re supposed to protect your child, and in that situation you can’t.”

Phoenix was born with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID), a rare genetic disorder.

“Going undiagnosed, if a child has SCID, it’s fatal,” Wilkinson said. “As soon as they get an infection… their bodies can’t fight it.”

Wilkinson works for Airbnb, and her son’s GiveForward page was sent to the entire company and it took off from there, raising $20,000 in just 24 hours and over $50,000 total over 10 months.

Like Alicia Wheatley, the Wilkinsons have health insurance through Kristen's job at Airbnb, but because Phoenix’s care so time-consuming, Kristin and Patrick weren’t able to work for months, so they said the crowdfunding money was much needed.

“It just gives you faith in humanity again,” Kirstin Wilkinson said. “It was really unbelievable.” But Wheatley’s online fundraising for her daughter was slow going. Heading into Chayla’s latest round of surgeries, Wheatley had only raised $610 dollars. Her online social network is small, and for the most part, not very wealthy.

“I don't have that many friends on Facebook that’s over 30 that have…established savings accounts and all that,” Ray Wheatley said.

With help of her tech savvy cousin, Alicia Wheatley turned to Twitter and Facebook, and started the hashtag #Eyes4Chayla to try to spread the word, but it was an uphill battle.

“For us small family, small network it’s been a struggle,” she said. “Social media is not conducive for every socioeconomic walk of life.”

As of now, the Wheatleys crowdfunding campaign has ended. They only raised $1,390 over six months, a far cry from their $10,000 goal, but they are continuing to push forward. They have since started a new online campaign through YouCaring.com

“For us small family, small network it’s been a struggle,” Ray Wheatley said. “Social media is not conducive for every socioeconomic walk of life.”

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Mat Hayward/Getty Images(HARWOOD, Md.) -- Hunter Hayes recorded a special performance of his song, "Invisible," for a fan from Maryland he called "a rock star," days before she died from terminal cancer.

Her name was Erin Catterton and she died at 22 years old on Wednesday "with her family and friends by her side at the Mandrin Chesapeake Hospice House in Harwood, Maryland," according to her obituary on Legacy.com.

Catterton was a huge Hayes fan and her brother, Robert, reached out to the singer's camp, asking for a video. The country star, 23, responded by sending Catterton a heartfelt performance of "Invisible" filmed in his hotel room in Los Angeles.

Catterton has battled cancer for much of her life. According to her brother, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor when she was just 4 years old. Just a few weeks ago, doctors found a tumor in Erin's uterus.

"Erin's happiest moments were spent every day by her mother and father's sides enjoying anything from small shopping trips to vacations in Nashville and Savannah," her obituary continued.

Hayes' rep told ABC News that Erin and her entire family got to watch the video before she passed.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Teachers across the country are advocating for the right to pump breast milk at work.

After discovering a loophole that leaves salaried workers unprotected under federal law, teachers from states including Texas and Florida are fighting for the right to pump at work.

The Affordable Care Act currently protects working mothers with hourly wages, but the law does not require employers to provide time and space for pumping for women in salaried positions.

Anna Johnson-Smith, a former teacher in Texas, told The Washington Post she felt like she had to choose between her teaching career and her child when her principal denied her request for a small break every afternoon to pump.

“A 15-minute break was all I was asking for,” Johnson-Smith told The Washington Post. “We’ve come so far in our society in so many ways, and here in 2015, we’re still fighting for the right to provide breast milk for our babies.”

High school teacher Monica Howell told The Washington Post when she returned to work after having her baby last year, she was denied a request for a break to pump after the first class of the day by her assistant principal. Her principal later reversed the decision, but it wasn't enough. Some days she couldn't find someone to watch her classroom and she would have no time to pump.

Howell's union, the United Teachers of Dade, provided a new contract for Fall 2014 where new mother teachers were given the right to have "reasonable" time to pump in a private space.

According to the National Library of Medicine, women without medical problems should give their babies breast milk for at least the first six months after birth. Women who don't pump their breasts or breastfeed may feel painful engorgement or plugged ducts and infection.

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Liquidlibrary/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The problems of “picky eating” in kids may extend beyond the dinner table -- perhaps even to the psychiatrist’s couch, according to a new study published in Pediatrics Monday.

Duke University researchers looked at 917 kids between 2 and 6 years old, assessing their degree of picky or “selective” eating. They found that children with moderate to severe selective eating were more likely to also exhibit increased symptoms of anxiety, social anxiety and depression.

When they followed up later on with a subgroup of these kids, the researchers also found that selective eating in younger years may even predict psychological issues later on.

The researchers say the findings show that parents need better advice from doctors when it comes to dealing with kids who are picky eaters -- and that they may even want to be on the lookout for more serious psychological issues.

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iStock/ThinkstockBy DR. JENNIFER ASHTON, ABC News Senior Medical Contributor

Half of all teens will be involved in a car crash before graduating from high school.

And contrary to popular belief, teens crash most often because they are inexperienced.

So, here are some things you should know:

Make sure your teens get all the practice they can. There are graduated driver licensing systems, online driving programs and numerous support groups that allow your teen to have a safe and effective way to gain experience.

Coach your teens the right way when they are in the driver’s seat, and demonstrate good habits when you’re at the wheel. This makes a bigger difference than you think.

Lastly, hold them accountable. Making a contract to drive will remind your teen that safety is priority, and driving is a privilege.

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Hemera/Thinkstock(TUSCALOOSA, Ala.) — The longtime debate over whether men and women can be “just friends” continues. This time, science is weighing in.

Researchers from the University of Alabama conducted a study on college students and found that both men and women believe that actual platonic friendships between opposite sexes are possible, reports Vocativ.

Sounds promising, but most students also reported thinking that most men-women friendships hold secret sexual attraction. The participants estimated that about 63 percent of relationships have at least one person who secretly wants to get physical.

What’s even more interesting is that men and women showed similar levels of discomfort with their significant others forming a “friendship” with a member of the opposite sex.

Basically, men and women believe in platonic relationships…just not for their significant others.

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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Bronzer is the secret for getting that beach-ready glow without soaking up damaging UV rays.

The look has been perfected by A-list celebrities, including Jennifer Aniston, Jennifer Lopez and Victoria Beckham.

Makeup guru and Yahoo Beauty’s editor-in-chief, Bobbi Brown, appeared on ABC’s Good Morning America Monday as part of the Yahoo Your Day series – a collaboration between GMA and experts from Yahoo – to share the basics about bronzer.

Brown said bronzer was the quickest way to give some life to the face, adding that it can also be used to correct foundation that’s not the right color.

“Bronzer will absolutely" make your skin look healthier, she said.

Bronzer is used after foundation and concealer have been applied, Brown said. People should choose a bronzer that works with their skin tone and which doesn’t have any shine.

“And the way to put it on is to smile. You find the apple of the cheek. And then you blend it up. And then the trick is you also blend it down,” she said, adding that a wide brush should be used.

Bronzer should also be used on the forehead and nose so the sun-kissed effects appears natural. But, she added, the goal isn’t to give the user the appearance of a tan.

“You just want to tint the skin. … A lot of women just put it on the cheek. And then they walk away. But you use it, you blend it. You can put blush on top of it. You can put a little bit of shimmer on top of it,” she said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Health care officials in Puerto Rico are bracing for more Medicare cuts, according to The New York Times.

The island is facing a huge cut to Medicare as well as a shortage of funding for Medicaid.

The Times reports that more than 60 percent of those living in Puerto Rico take Medicare or Medicaid.

Decreasing funding for these programs have sparked lobbying in Washington and grave concern among doctors and patients.

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Hemera/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Four people have died from Legionnaires' disease in the Bronx this summer.

A fourth person died from Legionnaires' disease in the South Bronx part of New York, according to a report on Saturday. There have been 65 confirmed cases of people with Legionnaires' since July 10, 55 of which were hospitalized.

The four people who died from the disease were older and had additional medical conditions.

Five locations have tested positive for legionella and all have been disinfected, though officials say they are expecting more cases to rise.

Daniel Tejada battled the disease and spoke to ABC News affiliate WABC-TV about his condition.

"I was about to wait one more day to go to the hospital and if I would have waited that one more day, I don't think I'd be here right now," Tejada, who was back home Saturday night, told WABC-TV.

According to WABC-TV, Highbridge, Morrisania, Mott Haven and Hunts Point are four neighborhoods where the outbreak is most prominent.

"I can't say where I got it from because I'm a cab driver and I'm everywhere so I could have caught this in any borough," Tejada told WABC-TV.

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Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and pharmaceutical company Hospira announced Friday that they are aware of "cybersecurity vulnerabilities" associated with the company's Symbiq Infusion System.

The devices, computerized pumps that allow for continuous delivery of general infusions, are used in hospitals and nursing homes. Hospira notes in a statement that there have been no known breaches of their devices.

Still, the company has "worked with [customers] to deploy an update to the pump configuration" and "[provide] our Symbiq customers with another layer of security for the devices while they remain in the market for another few months."

The updates, Hospira adds, "will address reported vulnerabilities specific to Symbiq."

The FDA adds that the devices are no longer being manufactured or distributed, recommending that healthcare facilities transition to alternate infusion systems as soon as possible.

Breaches of the Symbiq device "could lead to over- or under-infusion of critical patient therapies," the FDA adds.

"As we learn about vulnerabilities, we are committed to continuing to communicate with customers regarding cybersecurity, software and infusion pump updates or enhancements," Hospira's statement reads.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Thanks to a revolutionary procedure, a woman who was blind for 16 years is now able to see.

Carmen Torres, of South Florida, is the first recipient of a bionic eye. At 18, she was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, in which the vision declines over a period of time, according to ABC News affiliate WPLG-TV.

“You have to move forward with your life," Torres, 45, said of her condition at a news conference Friday.

Through an implant on the eye, the patient wears special glasses containing a video camera. An image is processed through a tiny computer affixed to a purse or belt. A signal is sent into the glasses that then transmits the image to the implant.

According to Torres, she can now see sidewalks and buildings as well as find windows and doors.

"It's very emotional,” she told reporters. “But I am very strong and I didn't cry. I was happy and just laughing like crazy."


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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A New York City doctor, who made headlines after he was diagnosed with Ebola, said he hoped an experimental vaccine could be “a way forward” for a region decimated by the deadly virus.

Craig Spencer, an emergency room physician at New York Presbyterian Hospital, made headlines last year when he contracted Ebola after treating patients for the disease in Guinea. His diagnosis in New York City set off a wave of media coverage of the 33-year-old doctor who spent 20 days in isolation as he fought off the deadly disease.

After his treatment Spencer returned to Guinea to treat patients and he got to see firsthand how the vaccine trial affected patients and health care workers.

In a newly published study in the medical journal The Lancet, researchers found that an experimental Ebola vaccine appeared to be successful in early trials. Thousands of patients who had been exposed to Ebola were given the vaccine right away or after three weeks. Those given the vaccine right way were found not to develop the virus, although researchers started tracking virus results after 10 days in case anyone who had already been infected. Sixteen of those who were given the vaccine after 21 days developed the virus.

Officials from the World Health Organization said more research would be needed to confirm the early findings from the Guinea-based study.

Spencer said it was difficult for health workers to get the trial underway — many in the country were still afraid of health care workers or heard rumors about the government not helping patients in need.

“When I was back, it certainly was not calm, it was not easy,” said Spencer. “Many people were still very uncomfortable with Ebola in the country.”

After seeing the devastation of the disease with no clear treatment or vaccine, he said the vaccine is “certainly helpful,” but remains concerned people will assume it can end the outbreak alone.

He pointed out the outbreak had decimated the medical infrastructure in the countries hit hard by Ebola leading to deaths by other more common illnesses or complications like childbirth.

More people “could die of measles than will die of Ebola throughout this outbreak,” explained Spencer, citing that 200,000 people are expected to get the measles virus in the area.

“There was a study that estimated that up to 7 percent of doctors in Sierra Leone and 8 percent in Liberia,” had died from Ebola, said Spencer. “This was for a region that before the outbreak had less practicing doctors [in] countries combined that there were in the one hospital in New York City where I was treated.”

He remained concerned that if people think the vaccine works they will no longer think help is needed, even though measles—which can be prevented with a vaccine—also kills far more than Ebola.

“One of the big messages is that Ebola is bad but post-Ebola could be worse,” said Spencer.

Spencer said he's gone to Africa for years and expects he’ll be back in west Africa in the next year to work with patients.

“I’ve learned so much about medicine and humanity," Spencer said. "What it really comes down to is everyone deserve the same right to be treated and to be free of disease.” said Spencer.

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