Epidemiologic surveillance is used in public and global health. For this Assignment, begin by locating a recent article about an outbreak of an infectious or communicable disease. The article can come from a newspaper or other source but your paper must be supported with at least three scholarly sources of evidence in the literature which may include your text or course readings.
Write a 3- to 4-page paper that includes the following:
- A summary of the article, including the title and author
- Identify the title of the article with in-text citation and corresponding reference in reference list
- The relationship among causal agents, susceptible persons, and environmental factors (epidemiological triangle)
- The role of the nurse in addressing the outbreak
- Two to three possible health promotion/health protection strategies that could have been implemented by nurses to mitigate the outbreak
Week 3 Assignment
There has been an increased outbreak of infectious diseases in the last three decades. The article Increase in Measles Cases –United States, accounts for the spread of measles in the United States in 2019 (Patel et al., 2019). In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed 704 cases of measles, which registered the highest number of cases since the elimination of the disease in 2000. It is worth mentioning that measles is an acute viral illness and contagious disease characterized by maculopapular rash and fever (Patel et al., 2019). The condition is also characterized by encephalitis, pneumonia, and death. Unvaccinated people were involved in 503 (71%) of the cases, and 689 (98%) of the cases occurred in citizens of the United States.
According to Patel et al. (2019), cases were reported in twenty-two states, with the highest weekly case count being 87 from January to April of 2019. However, the highest measles cases occurred in 2014 in the United States, whereby 667 cases were reported, and 383 were associated with the under-immunized Amish community in Ohio State before 2019. Over time, there have been approximately seven million cases of measles occurrence since 2016. The number of measles cases in the World Health Organization’s areas has continued to rise, increasing the risk of measles importation into the United States. Due to the state and municipal health agencies’ control procedures, the importations do not result in the spread of measles (Patel et al., 2019). The United States continues to benefit from robust vaccination programs. Misinformation concerning the MMR vaccine and measles has characterized recent outbreaks, resulting in the under in the affected regions. The article further reports that unvaccinated Unite State residents are at high risk of acquiring measles. It confirms that measles is a disease that must be reported in the United States. To ensure timely control efforts, health care workers should report suspected measles cases to the appropriate public health authorities.
This section addresses the causative agents, vulnerable individuals, and environmental factors that contribute to the spread of measles. Scientists invented the triangle to help in studying health problems. However, an epidemiologist needs to break at least one side of the triangle, which will disrupt the connection between the susceptible person’s causative agent and eliminate the continuation of disease in the environment. The causal agents for measles include the morbillivirus replicating in an infected person’s nose.
The susceptible persons include the unvaccinated persons. Patel et al. (2019) argued that residents of the United States who have not been vaccinated are at significant risk of contracting measles while traveling worldwide. They also maintain that infants of six to eleven months should receive MMR vaccine, and adults traveling to other countries should receive a second dose. The environmental factors at the vertex of the triangle represent the favorable surroundings that cause the disease to be transmitted. Microbes might contaminate surfaces such as tables or infectious respiratory secretions and saliva that cause the spread of measles. Also, research shows that hot and cold temperatures result in reduced measles incidences, and low humidity is a risk factor for measles morbidity.
Role of the Nurse in Addressing Measles Outbreak
In the vaccination of contagious diseases, vaccine hesitancy is the most significant problem that affects the strategies laid down by the states and the local government. Educating the public on vaccine safety is one role of nurses in addressing measles outbreaks. Several parents and their families mistrust the pharmaceutical industry, the government, and the medical industry, which makes them hesitant in getting vaccination (Marcus, 2020). Therefore, nurses should educate the public on how the immune system and vaccines work and the risk of not getting vaccinated. Also, nurses can conduct door-to-door vaccination after communicating the need for measles vaccination. Doing so will lead to the immunization of many children who are potential persons of getting measles if not vaccinated. Besides, nurses should help in educating the public about hygiene, such as keeping nails short, keeping the skin moist, and avoiding too much sunlight.
Health Promotion/Health Protection Strategies
There are a lot of health promotion and protection strategies that nurses could implement to mitigate measles outbreaks. Developing community-based interventions is one way of promoting health. The intervention can help in vaccinating children below five years against measles. There are significant differences in socioeconomic status and places of residence in different areas. In the United States, a door-to-door immunization technique can help improve immunization coverage in hard-to-reach locations. Shikuku et al. (2019) recognized the Reach Every Community (REC) strategy to boost immunization coverage in health facilities. The strategy helps vaccinate susceptible persons, administer post-exposure prophylaxis, and isolate and quarantine as the social distancing techniques. Another important public health promotion method is mass immunization programs in places where there are a lot of measles cases. The campaigns help in reducing global measles deaths. Several individuals do not recognize the dangers of a measles outbreak. It is essential for healthcare providers and epidemiologists to communicate the causal agents, the susceptible persons, and environmental factors for measles.
Marcus, B. (2020). A nursing approach to the most significant measles outbreaks in recent US history: lessons learned battling homegrown vaccine hesitancy. Online J Issues Nurs, 25(1). Retrieved from https://ojin.nursingworld.org/MainMenuCategories/ANAMarketplace/ANAPeriodicals/OJIN/TableofContents/Vol-25-2020/No1-Jan-2020/Nursing-Approach-to-Largest-Measles-Outbreak.html
Patel, M. (2019). Increase in measles cases—United States, January 1–April 26, 2019. MMWR. Morbidity and mortality weekly report, 68. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/68/wr/mm6817e1.htm
Shikuku, D. N., Muganda, M., Amunga, S. O., Obwanda, E. O., Muga, A., Matete, T., & Kisia, P. (2019). Door–to–door immunization strategy for improving access and utilization of immunization Services in Hard-to-Reach Areas. BMC Public Health, 19(1), 1-11. Retrieved from https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-019-7415-8