Each year the flu puts more than 200,000 Americans in the hospital and causes anywhere from 3,000 to 49,000 deaths. With the exception of the H1N1 flu (also called swine flu) in 2009, most of these deaths occur in people over 65. But even for healthy younger people, the flu—characterized by high fever, body aches, headaches, and coughing—can be rough.
Monthly Archives: October, 2012
One of the most intractable challenges of our time is to reduce the inequalities in health that exist in the United States and globally. It is also one of the greatest opportunities for improving health for everyone. In some of our past issues of Berkeley Health, we have focused on what the School is doing to reduce global health inequalities. This issue focuses on what we are doing in our own backyard.
How do you know if someone is your neighbor? The friend in the apartment down the hall who waters your plants while you’re on vacation is definitely your neighbor. And unfortunately, so is the man next door with the dog that barks at three in the morning. But what about the family having that garage sale five blocks away? Or the woman in front of you in the pharmacy line at the drug store a half mile from your house?
The consequences of social stigma can be physically harmful, and even deadly. People who are shunned by our society—due to homelessness, drug use, non-conforming gender identity, or other attributes—generally have much poorer health and higher death rates than those in the mainstream. They may be at increased risk of HIV infection, be more likely to have experienced violence, or suffer from severe mental health problems, for example.