This year's flu season has been unprecedentedly aggressive in comparison to recent years, causing levels of panic in the United States on the level of the H1N1 outbreak that occurred in 2009. Also known as swine flu, H1N1 caused rising levels of fear on a global level, with magazine covers publishing headlines about the epidemic and leading the World Health Organization to address the matter publicly, declaring it a pandemic.
In the Philippines, the government is currently dealing with a public health crisis surrounding the Dengue virus. After being inoculated with the Dengue vaccine known as Dengvaxia, children have fallen ill and succumbed to illness, some even falling sick to the Dengue virus within thirty days of their initial inoculation.
For many Native Americans, receiving healthcare can be a difficult ordeal. Poverty runs rampant on reservations throughout the United States, with one charity named One Spirit putting the number of Lakota families living under the poverty line in South Dakota at a staggering 90%. Even acquiring heating and basic living necessities is difficult for many of these families, reducing healthcare to a secondary concern. Native American people are at high risk for unnecessary death due to an intersection of unique situations such as isolation and poverty levels.
Over 23.5 million Americans are afflicted with autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune disease affecting approximately 1.3 million Americans. In a case of mistaken identity, the body’s immune system mistakes its own tissues for foreign invaders, such as bacteria or viruses and develops antibodies to destroy the “invaders” in the synovium. Currently, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis and the treatments are often saddled with a variety of side effects, some as severe as the disease.
Mississippi and Ohio are two states that have been hit hard by the recent opioid crisis affecting the nation, with over 200,000 Ohioans addicted to opioids. Mike DeWine, the Attorney General, filed a lawsuit in May of 2017 against 5 separate pharmaceutical companies alleging that the companies “helped unleash a health crisis that has had far-reaching financial, social, and deadly consequences in the state of Ohio”. This makes Ohio the second state to file suit against pharma companies, with Mississippi the first state. They allege that the manufacturers knowingly marketed opioids while minimizing the risks of addiction, while simultaneously overstating the benefits.
Benzodiazepines are a commonly prescribed medication for anxiety, seizures, and a myriad of other medical conditions. However, this medication doesn’t come without its faults, of which there are many serious ones. Benzodiazepines such as Ativan and Xanax are potentially addictive after only a short period of