Epidemiology Paper On Influenza
This paper will focus on influenza communicable disease. It will deliberate on the symptoms, causes, as well as the treatments, and the interests of the demographics. It will include the determinants of health as well as how these factors contribute to the influenza development. Included in this paper is the epidemiologic triangle that includes data on host, agent, as well as environmental factors. Finally, it will explain the role of the communities’ health nurse in taking care of those affected with the flu, the duty they play in education as well as prevention.
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Influenza, or flu, is an infectious respiratory sickness caused by the flu virus that infects the throat, nose and the lungs. It causes mild to severe sickness, and sometimes leads to death. Influenza is from a common cold and its symptoms usually have a quick onset. Some of the symptoms comprise of chills, fever, cough, body aches, sore throat, and fatigue. Flu is transmitted primarily by droplets whereby people with the flu sneeze, cough, or talk. These droplets become airborne, and find their way into people’s noses or mouth, and are breathed into the lungs. Experts believe that the droplets that are in the air up to a distance of six feet, spread influenza. Flu transmission can also occur from surface areas when people touch the infected surface areas, and then touch their own noses or mouths, as well as eyes. However, this mode of transmission occurs less frequently than transmission by air. Once affected by the flu, people tend to suffer from different complications. Most people will recover in a couple of days, or worse, in less than two weeks. However, some people could suffer serious complications, such as pneumonia, sinus, bronchitis, as well as ear infections (CDC, 2014, 1).
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People are not immune to influenza, and anyone can get it including healthy people. The elderly have greater difficulty fighting off the disease and therefore have to pay close attention to even subtle changes in their health. Reports in 2008 indicate that nearly 36,000 people in the United States and more than 500,000 people globally, died from influenza as well as its’ complications. People aged 65 or above, account for more than 90 percent of those deaths through influenza epidemics. Those above the age of 65 years old and who have a conceded immune system or who suffer from chronic lung conditions, diabetes mellitus, heart disease, liver disease, or dementia are at the highest risk for contracting influenza. This is mainly due to medication, inadequate diet, as well as living conditions.
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Outbreaks of Influenza primarily occur in the colder months and usually mirror some of the similar symptoms of the common colds. The flu is usually in three types of viral forms; type A, B, and C. Research indicates that type A is the most prevalent, causing the greatest severe illness. Influenza C is different in numerous ways because it causes mild to no symptoms and does not cause the annual epidemics. Scientists have put most of their efforts to controlling influenza A and B because of their enormous impact on the nations and the world. Influenza type A viruses has two proteins that define their specific type (Rendell, 2006, 1-2). Take Influenza A (H1N1) where the H stands for hemagglutinin and the N stands for neuraminidase. The existing types of Influenza A are A (H1N1) as well as A (H3N2). Influenza A (H1N1), A (H3N2), as well as Influenza B strains are inclusive in every annual vaccine. Influenza A viruses are very rigid to control because they undergo constant changes (World Health Organization, 2013, 1). The fact that the elderly do not distinguish the fact that they have the flu puts them at high risk for sepsis, pneumonia, as well as death. Education is a key element here, not just on the symptoms and signs, but the knowledge that influenza is in the community and the need to protect oneself. Influenza deaths spread globally in epidemic seasons, resulting in the deaths of between 250,000 and 500,000 people annually, and up to millions in particular pandemic years. Averagely 41,000 plus people died annually between 1979 and 2001 in the United States from the flu. In 2010, the United States CDC altered the method in which it reports the three-decade death estimations. At present, the reporting scope ranges from as low as 3,000 plus deaths to as high as 49,000 annually.
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Today, the public health agency offers viral vaccines in the forms of flu shots that help prevent the viruses that cause influenza. These vaccines are not available in most parts of the world, but they help in reducing the risk of influenza as well as eliminate several of the cases of death where the vaccines are available. Hand washing is also a great way to reduce the risk of contracting dangerous diseases, and a promotion campaign for hand washing has been in existence by the American government for many decades. Today, hand sanitizer products are available as a public health approach to kill most of the bacterial pathogens and viral pathogens that live on skin tissue and underneath the fingernails from contact with infected individuals or objects within an individual’s environment. Many of these methods help reduce the rate of influenza, but will not eliminate the disease as a global cause of fatality. In addition, since November 2013, the Canadian Public Health Agency has gotten a number of reports of sicknesses caused by the influenza AH1N1 flu virus amongst younger and middle-aged adults. The H1N1 strain flu virus identified first in 2009 was the cause of H1N1 influenza pandemic and is still circulating in Canada as well as several other countries including the United States (Public Health Agency of Canada, 2014, 1).
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The H1N1 flu virus strain has caused more sickness in younger people, as compared to older adults. Most of the flu sickness seen so far this season is due to the H1N1 flu virus. Although the number of flu cases reported was unusual, more severe sicknesses resulted in hospitalization and observation of those who had H1N1 flu virus. Meanwhile, public health authorities continue to monitor the situation. It is never too late to get a flu shot as vaccination is the best protection available against the flu. Everyone is encouraged to vaccinate against the flu in order to protect themselves as well as their families. The 2013/14 seasonal flu vaccine offers protection against a number of flu viruses, including the strain of the H1N1 flu virus. Even though one received the H1N1, flu shot or had H1N1 influenza during the 2009 pandemic, someone cannot assume there protected. A person still has to get the season’s flu shot to in order to protect against this season’s flu. Flu or Influenza is a common, infectious respiratory illness that originates within the nose as well as the throat. It is highly contagious and can spread quickly from person to person. Fighting the flu is a public health priority and something that everyone can contribute to preventing.
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In conclusion, there is no doubt that the influenza will remain a very serious ailment despite the existence of the vaccines as well as antiviral drugs, which are more or less effective for many of the recipients. A cold live adaptive virus vaccination is a new method that was developed which is in use by millions of people globally. Numerous improvements, based on recombinant DNA techniques as well as novel adjuvants promise to alter the vaccinology landscape alongside influenza as well as other infectious diseases. In addition, improving immunization protection will need other healthcare professionals to educate their clients as well as peers concerning their susceptibility to influenza as well as the severity of the disease that causes influenza. The World Health Organization needs to assess their clients’ views, beliefs, and attitudes concerning influenza as well as the vaccine and plan interventions to ensure that the vaccine and delivery of the influenza vaccine remains attractive. This will reduce mortality and morbidity associated with influenza.
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