A mosquito-borne virus has become a growing concern for Americans and people throughout the world.  The Zika virus can affect anyone for up to a week and present with fever, rash, joint pain, red eyes, and other symptoms. However 80% of people afflicted with the virus have no symptoms at all.

Zika virus is especially dangerous to pregnant women because it has been associated with babies being born with microcephaly, a neurodevelopmental disorder where the brain does not fully develop and presents with a disproportionately small head.  The World Health Organization (WHO) has deemed it a “global health threat.”  This week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s Emergency Operations Center moved to Level 1, the highest level, due to risk of Zika virus transmission in the US.

The most recent Zika virus outbreak began in Brazil in 2015 and is transmitted through Aedes mosquitos.  There is no vaccine to prevent or protect people from the virus, and treatment is typical for the flu: plenty of rest, fluids, and fever/pain relievers as needed.  Once diagnosed, it is necessary to further avoid mosquito bites

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According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 1 in 5 children are missing routine immunizations. With nearly 20% of the world’s population at risk for diseases such as measles, whooping cough, and other preventable diseases, there are close to 1.5 million deaths annually that could be averted. As part of World Immunization Week, we at NeedyMeds want to spread awareness on the importance of vaccinations and the resources available for those in need.

In a previous blog post, we shared a graph that compared the morbidity of illnesses from the years before the vaccine was developed to the year 2000. All the applicable diseases—smallpox, diphtheria, measles, mumps, whooping cough, polio, rubella, tetanus, and influenza type b—decreased in morbidity in the United States by 95-100%.

More recently, we wrote about this year’s measles outbreak that had schools barring unvaccinated students to cut down on infection rates. Though measles was declared eliminated from the United States in 2000,

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Robin Williams 1951-2014

While the tragic death of a cultural icon can raise widespread awareness, it is important to know that depression is

a global issue and that there is help for those affected.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 9% of American adults suffer from depression, or chronic feelings of hopelessness, despondency, or isolation. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers the condition a global epidemic with over 350 million people—5% of the world’s population—suffering globally. Depression can be a facet of a larger condition or circumstance such as post-traumatic stress disorder or substance abuse, or it can be the primary diagnosis itself. Depression is involved in more than two-thirds of the suicides that occur in the United States every year and is the leading cause of disability in Americans between ages 15 and 44.

While there are effective treatments for depression, less than half of those affected receive help. Lack of resources or trained health care professionals, as well as a social stigma around mental illness leaves many feeling helpless and lost. With a combination of medication and psychotherapy

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