Example Of There Is No Such Thing As Too Prepared: Term Paper
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Discussing the Benefits of Community Preventions of Communicable Disease
The average human beings on a day-to-day basis spend a great deal of time thinking about he potential threats, dangerous scenarios of communicable, infectious disease. Most are unaware of just how many diseases and the viruses that cause them that could, in fact, decimate populations, destabilize societal structures and cause rampant loss and mass panic. Some so dangerous they could run through a population before any means of curing the disease can even begin. Average people assume, particularly, in the United States, and other developed nations, that they are safe from and impervious to such apocalyptic disease events. However, that is not true. It is because of communicable disease monitoring, constant research and prevention and control measures put into place by health organizations and government agencies that make it all possible. The benefit of such measures is what keeps human civilizations safe from rampant disease and hundreds, if not thousands, of strains of virulent, communicable diseases. Not everyone agrees with that assessment. Some people, particularly, in the United States, that feel that the methods of disease controls are invasive on individual lives and force individuals to submit to preventative treatments that may carry other damaging, heath consequences. The alternative to the active disease prevention and control measures is the potential ad expeditious loss of the population’s good health, the appearance and reappearance of virulent communicable diseases and contaminating in a destabilization of functioning societal norms essentially, the end of the world as we know it. In order to understand just how essential these proactive health measures and why they are so beneficial it is necessary to investigate deeper in to the seriousness of the diseases that threaten humanities and the nature of the preventative and control factors implemented. After reviewing the facts it becomes astoundingly obvious that communicable disease control factors are what allow modern civilizations to survive, without them we might have to face the downfall of the human race.
Sine the beginning of human society, disease and sickness has always existed. As humanity grew in number and began to live in ever-growing, expanding communities. This, of course, is the ideal breeding ground for viral life forms and the diseases they would cause. Unfortunately, in the earliest eras of human civilizations they did not know what caused the diseases, how to cure them and how to prevent the diseases from continuing to spread, or even how it was spread, the ignorance led to many, what today we would refer to as absolute “quackery,” and practices that likely only made illness worse and its spread more efficient; practices like bleeding and faith healing (Nelson & Williams, 2001). For generations, scholars have argued, what patients were suffering from. Rabies, in the Middle Ages, which includes symptoms like aversion to water, growling and muscle twitches in human beings, was mistaken for demonic possession.
When people think of uncontrollable disease spreading across the land, many automatically think the “Black Plague,” or bubonic plague, which, in the Middle Ages, decimated Western Europe. Killing 50% of the population at the time. Every family living in Europe during this period lost, at least, one family member. But, many people, especially, in the United States, that honestly believe that it was the superstitions, lack of medical knowledge and absence of modern medications that allowed the Black Plague to have such a an impact. In the present day it could never happen. Fair enough, there are treatments available for bubonic plague, but that is not true of all possible diseases (Nelson & Williams, 2001). While most people do not take mass disease outbreak none too seriously, there are many people who worry that have a dismissive mentality. However the fear is present in society. as in modern, popular literature and entertainment seen today, from “Resident Evil” to “28 Days Later” and from “I am Legend” to the immensely, popular, AMCs “The Walking Dead.” The latter presents us with a present day worldwide mass viral outbreak, of an identifiable disease, that guarantees that when you die you return as a “Walker,” the living dead seeking to eat human flesh. The “Walkers” became the manifestation, the face of, the disease. The unemotional, unstoppable and relentless spreading with arbitrary and one absolute goal; this disease cannot be bribed or bargained with. It is this that makes disease so dangerous and frighteningly aggressive; once it takes hold it will not stop. Misunderstandings and underestimating disease could easily help to become out of control. If, of course, it were not for the modern medical advances, scientific discoveries and direct preventative control methods implemented to guard society or humanity could face a disease based apocalypse of any moment.
Some of the most dangerous and destructive threats to humanity is not found in nuclear attacks, but at the mercy of viruses and bacterium too small to even be seen by the human eye. That said it is no easy feat, protecting people from an enemy that is bountiful and moves invisibly. However, in order to get a clearer picture of the threat of disease it is advantageous to review a few of these many virulent, communicable diseases with the power to spread quickly and result the greatest loss of life (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011).
Syphilis: This disease, which was all too common in the Middle Ages through the 19h century, causes lesions, illness and, ultimately, madness. Syphilis is most often spread through sexual contact. In the Middle Ages, approximately, 70% of the aristocracy was infected with syphilis (Schwartz, 2014).
Tuberculosis: Tuberculosis is a severe upper respiratory, bacterial infection. Affecting the lungs, sufferers will experience severe cough and blood from the lungs. While highly monitored in the United States, it, however, still manages to kill more than a million people worldwide every year (Cole, 2014).
Influenza: While most often not fatal; the ability of influenza to spread variation of strains, and mutation to airborne state, they are one of the most virulent viruses. Some strains are more severe than others; some were able to kill many in the past. Today infections continue to occur in the millions every year, but access to treatment prevents mass outbreaks (Tatem, Rogers & Hay, 2011).
Hepatitis: Hepatitis A and B are incredibly contagious diseases that are spread through physical fluids, generally sex. The two disease, both which cause, potentially, lethal swelling and damage to the liver, are caused by different viruses. Death tolls in the United States have dropped, but the number of infections has not (Cole, 2014).
Strep Throat: This example of streptococcus conditions, strep throat, or streptococci bacteria, causes severe infection, specifically in the throat. Thus form of strep is one of the most contagious and can be transferred via a sneeze, cough and, even, a handshake . Millions are treated for this condition, particularly, children in school settings (Anderson, 2011).
Small Pox: Small pox is a highly contagious viral disease that causes high fever and disfiguring rash. It has, for 1000s of years, been one of the greatest disease causes of “plague-like” infections in communities all over the world (Cole, 2014).
HIV/AIDS: This virus is responsible for HIV/AIDS weakens and eradicates an individual’s immune system. Doing that allows other opportunistic diseases and viruses can invade. That said HIVdoes not have the potential to make people sick, it makes the contracting other serious pathogens more likely. While modern medical interventions have lessened the number of deaths in the United States, HIV/AIDS still claims the lives of more than a million people every year (Schwartz, 2014).
There are just a few of the diseases that could be a probable threat to all humanity especially, of the prevention controls did not exist. Even with existing preventative methods in place, sometimes that is not enough. Fortunately, the United States, has protocol for when these occasions present themselves. The news has been regularly preparing on the outbreak of Ebola that began last year. Ebola is caused by the virus, of the same name, and is, generally speaking, rather rare (Schwartz, 2014).The virus is categorized as a hemorrhagic fever, sufferers bleed internally. Ebola is spread through direct contact with or exchange of body fluids. The most current outbreak, believed to have begun in Sierra Leone, has earned a death toll that cannot be estimated, but nearly, half of those infected have died. Those are not ideal statistics (Cole, 2014). However, because the United States engages is what keeps the likelihood of all becoming epidemic is low.
Another modern day example of just how virulent and aggressive pathogens can be and just how easily the disease can infect, spread and become a health concern for human beings. The recent measles outbreak has confirmed that more than 60 people have been diagnosed with the disease and 2/3 can be attributed to the Disneyland amusement park in California. Measles are a viral condition that initially presents like flu, with fever, lethargy and cough. However, this is followed by a full body rash. This condition most often threatens children, but is entirely preventable (Cole, 2014).At least, 28 of the infected, ranging from infant to senior citizens, were never or not properly vaccinated. It is that lack of resistance that has allowed the disease to spread. It can now be found in 17 different states, as well as, crossing the border into Mexico. That is just how easily it can happen. Locations like, amusement parks, train stations, shopping malls, and airports are all ideal for a communicable disease to be introduced and then sent in dozens of directions. Without disease control and prevention agencies, policies and protocols, both of these modern outbreaks many be far worse (Aliferis, 2015).
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the World Health Organization and countless government and dedicated organizations work to monitor for the appearance of serious disease, intervene in the case of potential outbreak, follow precautions to prevent contamination and spread of diseases, and attempting to turn the condition to less of a threat. While science and technology has innovated the means and success of modern medicine; we have treatments, therapies and cures for diseases that were once inevitably fatal, there are only four major ways that communicable disease prevention and control (World Health Organization, 2002).
Isolation: This is the first means of defense when presented with highly contagious diseases. Isolation allows responders to separate the sick and symptomatic from those who are not infected (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 2014). The idea being that keeping the sick together will limit the exposure of threat of the public. This is mot beneficial for communicable diseases where contagions physical exchange. In cases of airborne contagions will require greater isolation measures. Safe rooms are locations designed to keep someone with such a condition from sharing air, water and facilities without prophylactic measures.
Quarantine: This is the measure adopted when the disease is unfamiliar or known to be highly contagious and possibly airborne, increasing the diseases ability to spread. Quarantines involve isolating not only the obviously sick, but also, anyone who may have been exposed, even if asymptomatic, in order to assess the situation. Many people oppose quarantine policies (Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).. People exposed may not show signs of infection straight-away may never become infected; but by forcing the healthy to share space with the obviously sick, increases their chances of catching the condition. Quarantine may not be the ideal solution but it is affective in protecting communities from serious outbreaks.
Inoculation: An inoculation involves taking the active disease from someone who s already suffering the same illness. Ideally the antibodies of the infected will bolster the resistance of the injected. Inoculations do cart some ethical red flags in regard to the injecting the healthy with the fluids from the infected (Communicable Disease Control and Prevention. 2015).
Vaccination: Vaccinations are the most common way that society as a whole protects themselves and others from many communicable diseases. Vaccinations are provided by taking a “safe” sampling of the disease, often from another species, like cattle, that increases an individual’s resistance and prevent contraction of the given disease (Communicable Disease Control and Prevention. 2015).Today we see that vaccinations are quite controversial topic. Many people feel that giving anything to a healthy person to prevent illness is unacceptable. They may never contract the disease yet are being put in unnecessary risk. There are potential side effects and unforeseen and unintended consequences are yet to be seen. Many parents fear having their children vaccinated can and has contributed to other serious conditions including autism (Tatem, Rogers & Hay, 2011).However, while studies continue to be conducted, there has never been any definitive scientific proof that any vaccinations have or will cause any types of accessory conditions, behavioral or mental disorders.
While protecting the public from disease is a paramount goal of organizations, like the CDC and the WHO, however, there is another extremely important reason that outbreak preparedness is so essential for any and all communities and civilizations. Endorsing vaccinations, establishing protocols and innovating preparedness plans, Given the research it’s obvious that there are any number of diseases which without interventions would become a serious epidemic and plausibly a pandemic threat. The United States, in this modern era, has many enemies. Bioterrorism is just one means by which an enemy can attack and simply step aside and let the disease or diseases do “their job,” to weaken, debilitate and have a greater chance of dominating the enemy (Tatem, Rogers & Hay, 2011). The contagious Anthrax is highly communicable and easily spread disease with the ability to claim many lives. The fact, that the United States is prepared, does have protocols and procedures are what prevent any such attack to be nearly as threatening, regardless of their goal. If the United States, for example, abandoned the endeavors of communicable disease prevention including vaccinations, then it would leave the public open to threats and attacks and offer a greater likelihood they would be successful.
The prevention and control factors in place should not be lessened or loosened; in fact, in some cases they should probably be stricter. Disease is an impartial enemy, it does not have a side to appeal to or an ego to stroke; it just fulfills its biological imperative, the goal, which is to reproduce and spread. That said without the public protective measures overseen civilization as we know it would be at risk. Disease, in its nature, thrives in highly populated area, if people want to lives they do now in convenient, metropolitan cities, then they must compromise to make that possible (World Health Organization, 2002). Everyone has to submit to those measures that secure the well-being, safety and general health of those around us. Refusing to adhere to preventive measures and denying the responsibility of vaccination is, in fact, a threat to those sharing their community. each and every person has a responsibility to the community as a whole, as well as, to themselves.
One of the greatest issues with the relevance of communicable disease prevention programs and initiatives is that the people are under-educated above the facts. Conspiracy theorists convince people to fear diseases and the way to developed to prevent them equally. Educating the public more thoroughly of the importance of prevention when presented with the facts of virulence and threat potentials (Tatem, Rogers & Hay, 2011). Because of that lack of education, it has left a somewhat “lazy” mentality. Individuals think that serious disease effects o there people, some place else. Therefore, they take no accountability and no personal responsibility. That said many do not “do their part” on a day-to-day basis. Finally, there is a need for studies to firmly and forever out to rest the fears associated with vaccinations. Ideally, this will change people’s mind in the long run Once that happens people may be more trusting and perhaps bolster needed support and “follow-thru” in the part of citizens all over the world.
While it may sound incredibly old fashioned ad antiquated, but taking personal hygiene, more seriously, is an incredible step to preventing the spread of disease whether it’s the common cold or the Ebola virus. Most of these basic suggestions will have a profound impact and be beneficial in protecting yourself and others from many communicable diseases. Washing one’s hands in timely fashion throughout the day, prepare and clean foods appropriately, regularly disinfect commons areas like, kitchens and bathrooms. Avoiding contact with wild or strange animals is beneficial. When one becomes ill seek treatment, stay home and work to not spread your contagion to others through coughing or sneezing. Finally, get vaccinated. There is no greater choice one can make to more certainly and securely prevent contraction and spread form a number of serious diseases, like the measles (Communicable Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). However, solving man of the problems, eliminating false conspiracy theories, and getting more people informed. More communities, clinics and hospitals should stage more mock scenarios regarding outbreaks, as well as, educate people on the truth regarding vaccination and disease. When one thinks about what is out there, smaller than the eye can see, that awaits an opportunities to destroy lives, community and nations, it becomes harder to ignore the relevance of vaccination, the threats of bioterrorism ad the number of viruses and bacteria that could become epidemic (Morgan & Lifshay, 2006). It becomes easier to see why government agencies and organizations approaches and policies regarding mass disease is incredibly beneficial and outright essential in this modern world.
It would be wonderful if there was a cure for every disease and it would be ideal if there ceased to be dangerous diseases and conditions. However, that is not the reality where human beings are living. There are, without question, viruses and bacteria leading to conditions and diseases that pose a genuine threat, or could without the watchful and vigilance of disease protection agencies. The number of benefits, like maintaining lives, preventing sickness and ending of the unseen threats to the population of the world far outweighs the negatives, most which are unfounded scare tactics. The reality is that disease does exist, has lawyers existed, and likely, will always exist. The way that humanity overcomes that is by taking the measures to protect the lives and lifestyles they love by conforming to preventative measure, necessary to make that life possible. Ultimately, it is imperative that organizations and government’s enforce policies and encourage cooperation form the public; after all the world without those measures and could result in the crippling of, if the extinction, of humanity in the future.
Aliferis, L. (2015, January 22). Disneyland measles outbreak hits 59 cases and counting." National Public Radio, 1. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/22/379072061/disneyland-measles-outbreak-hits-59-cases-and-counting
Anderson, N. (2011, March 9). Top 10 most communicable diseases. LiveStrong Magazine, 1. Retrieved from http://www.livestrong.com/article/88298-top-communicable-diseases/
Cole, D. (2014, September 16). Which contagious diseases are the deadliest?. National Public Radio, 1. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/blogs/goatsandsoda/2014/09/16/347727459/which-contagious-diseases-are-the-deadliest
Morgan, M. A., & Lifshay, J. (2006). Community engagement in public health. Contra Costa Health Services, 1-8.
Nelson, K. E., & Williams, C. F. (2001). Early history of infectious disease. 1-24. Retrieved from http://www.jblearning.com/samples/0763728799/28799_CH01_001_022.pdf
Schwartz, D. (2014, October 20). Could ebola rank among the deadliest communicable diseases?. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/could-ebola-rank-among-the-deadliest-communicable-diseases-1.2802071
Tatem, A. J., Rogers, D. J., & Hay, S. I. (2011). Global transport networks and infectious disease spread. Adv Parasitol, 62, 293-343.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014, October 8). Legal authorities for isolation and quarantine. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/aboutLawsRegulationsQuarantineIsolation.html
Communicable Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Protect yourself with healthy habits. Retrieved from http://www.sfcdcp.org/healthyhabits.html
World Health Organization. (2002). Control of communicable diseases and prevention of epidemics. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/hygiene/emergencies/em2002chap11.pdf
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