Write a paper 2,000-2,500 words in which you apply the concepts of
Write a paper 2,000-2,500 words in which you apply the concepts of epidemiology and nursing research to a communicable disease. Refer to “Communicable Disease Chain,” “Chain of Infection,” and the CDC website for assistance when completing this assignment.
Communicable Disease Selection
- Hepatitis B
Epidemiology Paper Requirements
- Describe the chosen communicable disease, including causes, symptoms, mode of transmission, complications, treatment, and the demographic of interest (mortality, morbidity, incidence, and prevalence). Is this a reportable disease? If so, provide details about reporting time, whom to report to, etc.
- Describe the social determinants of health and explain how those factors contribute to the development of this disease.
- Discuss the epidemiologic triangle as it relates to the communicable disease you have selected. Include the host factors, agent factors (presence or absence), and environmental factors. Are there any special considerations or notifications for the community, schools, or general population?
- Explain the role of the community health nurse (case finding, reporting, data collection, data analysis, and follow-up) and why demographic data are necessary to the health of the community.
- Identify at least one national agency or organization that addresses the communicable disease chosen and describe how the organizations contribute to resolving or reducing the impact of disease.
- Discuss a global implication of the disease. How is this addressed in other countries or cultures? Is this disease endemic to a particular area? Provide an example.
A minimum of three peer-reviewed or professional references is required.
Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.
This assignment uses a rubric. Please review the rubric prior to beginning the assignment to become familiar with the expectations for successful completion.
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Expert Answer and Explanation
Epidemiology can be regarded as the study of diseases, their distribution in populations their causes and how they can be prevented among other factors concerning the general population health. This paper will focus on the epidemiology of infectious diseases where HIV will be selected for analysis.
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
Among the most known infections globally, HIV can be regarded as being top of the list. It is a disease that came to be known widely in the 1980s, where the first instance of the infection started to be reported and the numerous deaths that occurred as a result. According to the UNAIDS 2018 factsheet, the number of HIV infected persons globally almost neared forty million. The CDC further reports that gay men, and men who have sex with other men, transgender, Blacks, and Latinos, and drug users who inject themselves are at an increased risk of infection than any other population group (Hall et al. 2015).
For a healthy person, the body uses the T-helper cells (T-cells/CD4 cells) to fight off against any harmful bacteria or viruses. Bell and Noursadeghi (2018) elaborate that when a person is infected by HIV, the virus fights off against the T-helper cells, but due to the rapid multiplication and mutation of the virus, the struggle renders the body to have insufficient immunity leading to other opportunistic diseases like tuberculosis to creep in further worsening the health condition of the infected person.
The disease is mainly spread through sexual intercourse, with factors such as drug use and abuse, risky sexual behavior and not using protection during intercourse increasing the risk of one getting infected. The infection passes through mucous membranes and raptured tissues of the body where bodily fluids can be absorbed.
Phases of HIV
The disease has three major stages, first second and third, with each stage having its characteristics. The first stage of the disease is normally captured in the first two to four weeks after transmission. This stage is characterized by a high virus count in the body and the infected person is usually unaware of the infection as there are no serious accompanying symptoms (Doitsh & Greene, 2016). However, one may feel feverish during this period. It is always advised for a person who suspects having been infected, especially after sexual intercourse, to go for a nucleic acid test for confirmation. This is done to prevent further infection and control the disease before it develops to the next stage.
The second stage of the infection is considered as being asymptomatic with the virus multiplying at a slow pace. An infected person can remain in this phase for over decades, but with ART, the duration can even be longer. The duration however varies from person to person, with more encounters of the virus through risky sexual behavior, accelerating the virus count in the body. It is important to note that an infected person at this stage, even under anti-retroviral-therapy (ART) can still infect others. However, ARTs reduce the chances of infection spread as compared to an infected person, not under medication.
When the virus continues to multiply unrestrained, the stage advances to the third and final stage which is also referred to as Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). This phase is characterized by very weak immunity with the CD4 count drastically dropping if a suitable therapy is not taken (Doitsh & Greene, 2016).
At this stage, that is when other opportunistic infections like TB creep in taking advantage of the weakened body increasing the likelihood of fatality. This stage is accompanied by various symptoms including chills, fatigue, high prevalence of getting other infections among others. An infected person at stage three of the disease is can easily infect others.
Treatment and cure for HIV
Currently, there is no known cure for the infection given the ability of the virus to constantly mutate. However, ART is a known method that can hinder the advancement of the virus from one stage to the next. The ART should be taken by an infected person for the rest of their lives to prevent advancing of the disease. Prevention of infection is considered as the best method of dealing with the disease. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) treatment is a one-month regimen that can assist infected persons 72 after getting infected to deal with the infection (Krakower, Jain & Mayer, 2015). The regimen is usually administered in emergency cases.
Reportable diseases can be considered as high-risk infections that can easily be transmitted from person to person, Ebola, TB, and the recent coronavirus being some of the common examples. In some states, HIV is considered a reportable infection failure to which legal action can be taken. The period of reporting is advised to be done immediately after confirming the infection and should be done to the state department of health
Social determinants of health in dealing with HIV
Social determinants of health are factors that affect the health status of certain population groups. The social determinants include income, education, race, individual behavior, physical environment among others. For HIV, several social determinants affect how the disease is handled. Taking income as an example, it is noted that persons who are from low-income populations are at a higher risk than those from a higher income group (Nikolopoulos et al., 2015). It is reported that people who come from low-income populations are highly likely to engage in risky health behaviors like sexual intercourse for monetary gain and using already used syringes for drug injections, leading to high susceptibility of getting infected.
Education and access to information is also a determinant. For groups who have access to formal education and information on the disease, they are likely to handle the disease in a better manner including preventive steps making them less susceptible to being infected. Individual behaviors like drug abuse and risky sexual behaviors are also associated with varying levels of prevalence citing an earlier example of drug users who use injectables.
Another determinant is race, whereby, in the US, the Hispanics and Blacks are known to be at a higher risk than any other population group (Xia et al., 2017). The reason is because of the already high prevalence of the disease amongst these two population groups. Culture can also be considered a determinant giving an example of a culture that embraces polygamy. In such a culture, there is a high risk of increased infection than in monogamist cultures. Cultures that embrace circumcision are at a lower risk of getting infected as compared to those who don’t.
Epidemiologic triangle as it relates to HIV
An epidemiologic triangle is a tool that facilitates the understanding of how a disease spreads or is transmitted from one host to another. The triangle is normally formed by linking three important factors which are the host, the agent and the environment. For HIV, the hosts are humans, whereby, the infected persons spread the disease to an uninfected person.
Given the lack of a cure, the disease stays within a living infected person until they die. The spread of the disease from a host to an uninfected person is through the exchange of bodily fluids with the main method being through unprotected sexual intercourse (Bell & Noursadeghi, 2018). Other methods include the use of infected sharp objects and transfusion of blood from an infected person.
According to the epidemiologic triangle, an infectious agent is an organism that causes a given health condition. For HIV, the agent is a virus that attacks the T-helper cells rendering the body’s immunity weak and susceptible to other opportunistic infections (Doitsh & Greene, 2016). The agent enters the body through ruptured tissues and mucous membranes located in the mouth, vagina, penis, and anus.
The environmental factors are including those areas where the prevalence of the disease is high and are mainly linked to the determinants of health. For example, in an area where drug abuse is high, there is a likelihood that there will be an increased risk of people being infected.
It is important that the awareness of the disease be fostered from early childhood education, to prevent further spread of infection. For gays, emphasis on the increased risk and prevention mechanisms when dealing with the disease should be undertaken. Pregnant women also need to be informed on HIV and how they can cope with the disease to prevent the unborn child from being infected.
It is important to note that couples can still have healthy uninfected families despite they themselves being infected. However, precautionary measures including accessing relevant information, need to be undertaken to protect the children from being infected (World Health Organization, 2017).
Role of community health nurse in the fight against HIV
Community health nurses are supposed to play a leading role in the prevention and control of HIV infections. Their primary role is to ensure that they avail the necessary information on the disease to the community to create awareness thereby preventing new cases of infections. This is considered one of the most effective approaches of dealing with the disease.
Community health nurses are also supposed to encourage HIV testing as a way of preventing unexpected infections. They also do so to identify new cases of infections where they can provide counseling and prescribe ARTs to assist the infected person to deal with the condition.
Community health providers are also supposed to follow up with infected persons and ensure that they have access to medication refills and are properly taking their medication. They are also supposed to encourage the infected persons to engage in habits that will not lead to further spread of the infection. Data collection and analysis is also an important role required to be performed by the community health nurse. Data collection and analysis is an important element in the fight against HIV as it assists in determining the progress made in the prevention and control of the disease.
Other than the already listed reasons, demographic data collected is important in that it highlights any substantial changes as pertains to the trend of the disease that may necessitate new interventions to be made in preventing the spread of the disease (Chandler et al., 2017). Demographic data can also be used for research purposes where they can be used as a reference detailing some of the aspects surrounding the spread of the infection.
National agency responsible for dealing with HIV
Several agencies have played a substantial role in the fight against HIV; the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is one of those organizations. SAMHSA has been at the forefront in trying to combat the disease by using various approaches. The link between HIV and substance abuse has been proved by many scholars and through the agency, they have tried to create awareness on this aspect to reduce the number of new cases of infection.
SAMHSA ensures that persons who have drug and substance-related disorders have access to support services that will help the alter their behaviors. In turn, this will reduce their risk levels of getting infected or infecting others, for those who are already infected.
Through awareness creation especially on the disadvantages of drug and substance abuse, the agency has tried to dissuade people from engaging in drugs that would have exposed them to being infected. The agency has also tried to prevent the misuse of injectable drugs, a factor that increases the risk of infections. Ultimately, their role has been very helpful in reducing the impacts of the disease.
Global Implication of HIV
HIV is a disease affects various spheres of societies across the globe. HIV as a disease affects various social aspects one being the economy. Due to the level of finances invested both on a national and individual level to deal with the disease, the economic status, especially in developing countries, continue to deteriorate (Nikolopoulos et al., 2015).
This expenditure would have otherwise been used to produce more leading to economic prosperity. Another affected area is healthcare infrastructure. Due to the number of infected persons, the healthcare infrastructure is stretched to accommodate patients who are infected leading to other areas being affected. HIV has also affected the social fabric with reports of stigmatization of infected persons in other communities being a hindrance to peace and unity and collective development.
Other countries like India have closely worked with global organizations like UNDP and other civil societies to ensure that the affected persons can access affordable healthcare services, food subsidies, scholarships among others (Paranjape & Challacombe, 2016). This is a way of empowering such persons in dealing with the disease amidst the stigmatization faced by the community members. HIV is not endemic to a particular area.
HIV is a disease that can be easily controlled and eliminated if proper prevention of the disease is undertaken. By reducing the risk factors associated with the disease, the number of new infections, which has been reducing drastically will reduce even further. It is the responsibility of healthcare providers and the community at large to continue creating awareness on the disease and shun stigmatization of the victims to adequately deal with the spread of the infection
Bell, L. C., & Noursadeghi, M. (2018). Pathogenesis of HIV-1 and Mycobacterium tuberculosis co-infection. Nature Reviews Microbiology, 16(2), 80-90.
Chandler, R. K., Kahana, S. Y., Fletcher, B., Jones, D., Finger, M. S., Aklin, W. M., … & Webb, C. (2015). Data collection and harmonization in HIV research: the seek, test, treat, and retain initiative at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. American journal of public health, 105(12), 2416-2422.
Doitsh, G., & Greene, W. C. (2016). Dissecting how CD4 T cells are lost during HIV infection. Cell host & microbe, 19(3), 280-291.
Hall, H. I., An, Q., Tang, T., Song, R., Chen, M., Green, T., & Kang, J. (2015). Prevalence of diagnosed and undiagnosed HIV infection-United States, 2008–2012. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 64(24), 657.
Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). (2019). Global HIV & AIDS statistics—2018 fact sheet. 2018.
Krakower, D. S., Jain, S., & Mayer, K. H. (2015). Antiretrovirals for primary HIV prevention: the current status of pre-and post-exposure prophylaxis. Current HIV/AIDS Reports, 12(1), 127-138.
Nikolopoulos, G. K., Fotiou, A., Kanavou, E., Richardson, C., Detsis, M., Pharris, A., … & Sypsa, V. (2015). National income inequality and declining GDP growth rates are associated with increases in HIV diagnoses among people who inject drugs in Europe: a panel data analysis. PloS one, 10(4).
Paranjape, R. S., & Challacombe, S. J. (2016). HIV/AIDS in India: An overview of the Indian epidemic. Oral diseases, 22, 10-14.
World Health Organization. (2017). WHO technical brief: preventing HIV during pregnancy and breastfeeding in the context of PrEP (No. WHO/HIV/2017.09). World Health Organization.
Xia, Q., Braunstein, S. L., Wiewel, E. W., Hadler, J. L., & Torian, L. V. (2017). Persistent racial disparities in HIV infection in the USA: HIV prevalence matters. Journal of racial and ethnic health disparities, 4(1), 87-93.
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How is Epidemiology Used in Community Health Nursing?
Epidemiology plays a crucial role in community health nursing by providing a scientific foundation for understanding the health needs of populations. Through the use of various research methods, data analysis, and surveillance techniques, epidemiology helps identify health issues, assess risk factors, develop interventions, and monitor health outcomes within communities. This article explores the significance of epidemiology in community health nursing and its impact on promoting the well-being of individuals and populations.
Epidemiology is the study of the distribution and determinants of health-related events, such as diseases, injuries, and health behaviors, within specific populations. It aims to identify patterns, causes, and trends to improve public health interventions and policies. Epidemiologists use various research designs, statistical methods, and data collection techniques to investigate health issues and contribute to evidence-based decision-making.
The Role of Epidemiology in Community Health Nursing
Community health nursing focuses on promoting and preserving the health of populations in a specific geographic area. Epidemiology provides a framework for understanding the health needs and challenges faced by communities, allowing nurses to develop targeted interventions and strategies. Here are key ways epidemiology is used in community health nursing:
1. Collecting and Analyzing Data
Epidemiologists and community health nurses work together to collect and analyze data related to health outcomes, disease prevalence, and risk factors within a community. This data helps identify trends, patterns, and disparities, enabling nurses to prioritize health issues and plan interventions effectively.
2. Identifying Health Issues and Risk Factors
Through epidemiological studies, community health nurses can identify emerging health issues, prevalent diseases, and underlying risk factors. This information guides the development of preventive measures and health promotion initiatives that address the specific needs of the community.
3. Developing and Implementing Interventions
Based on the data collected and analyzed, community health nurses collaborate with other healthcare professionals to develop evidence-based interventions. These interventions may include health education programs, vaccination campaigns, screening initiatives, and policy advocacy to improve the overall health status of the community.
4. Monitoring and Evaluating Health Outcomes
Epidemiology provides tools and methodologies for monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of interventions. Community health nurses track health outcomes, measure the impact of interventions, and make necessary adjustments to ensure optimal health benefits for the population.
5. Collaborating with Stakeholders
Epidemiology emphasizes collaboration among various stakeholders, including healthcare providers, policymakers, community leaders, and individuals. Community health nurses actively engage with these stakeholders to create partnerships, develop health policies, and implement interventions that address the unique needs and challenges of the community.
Challenges and Limitations
While epidemiology is a valuable tool in community health nursing, there are some challenges and limitations to consider. These include:
- Limited resources for data collection and analysis
- Ethical considerations when conducting research involving human subjects
- Difficulties in obtaining accurate and representative data from diverse populations
- Challenges in interpreting and communicating complex epidemiological findings to the community
- The ever-evolving nature of health issues, requiring ongoing surveillance and adaptation of interventions
Despite these challenges, community health nursing continues to rely on epidemiology as a fundamental approach to improving population health outcomes.
Epidemiology plays a vital role in community health nursing by providing evidence-based insights into the health needs, risk factors, and outcomes of populations. By utilizing epidemiological principles, community health nurses can develop targeted interventions, monitor health outcomes, and collaborate with stakeholders to promote the well-being of individuals and communities. As community health nursing continues to evolve, the integration of epidemiology remains crucial in addressing emerging health challenges and achieving sustainable improvements in population health.
1. What is the significance of epidemiology in community health nursing? Epidemiology helps community health nurses understand the health needs and challenges of populations, guiding the development of interventions and strategies to promote well-being.
2. How does epidemiology contribute to evidence-based decision-making in community health nursing? Epidemiology provides scientific methods and data analysis techniques that help community health nurses make informed decisions based on solid evidence.
3. What are some examples of interventions developed through epidemiological research in community health nursing? Examples include health education programs, vaccination campaigns, screening initiatives, and policy advocacy to address community health needs.
4. What are the challenges faced in utilizing epidemiology in community health nursing? Challenges include limited resources, ethical considerations, obtaining accurate data, interpreting findings, and adapting interventions to evolving health issues.
5. How does collaboration with stakeholders benefit community health nursing? Collaboration with stakeholders enhances the effectiveness of interventions and ensures that community health initiatives are tailored to the specific needs of the population.