Communicable Disease Communicable diseases have been a plague on mankind since the beginning of history. Communicable diseases can instill fear, panic, and public outrage. The outcry for communicable disease control, prevention, and eradication has been the driving force behind physicians and organizations. Understanding the communicable disease, the origin, the causation behind the spread of the disease, and how to prevent further spread of the communicable disease is the intent of these physicians and organizations. In this paper the subject to discuss is the rise, spread, control, and preventive measures for pertussis (whooping cough).
In addition this paper will define possible environmental factors that could drive the spread of the disease. The factors of lifestyle, socioeconomic status, and disease management have an influence on the spread of the disease as well. Taking the first step to identify, treatment and prevention in communities, states, and nations will bring these diseases under control. Pertussis is a public health crisis that could have a serious consequence. Description and Control Pertussis has been a communicable disease since the beginning of the 20th century.
Pertussis was a common childhood disease. In fact, pertussis was the leading cause of childhood mortality in the United States in the same period. 200,000 cases of pertussis, prior to a vaccination in 1940, came to light every year (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). After dissemination of the vaccine cases of pertussis were dramatically lower than the previous year. Beginning in 1980 the number of pertussis cases began to rise among teenagers and children under six months (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2011). Cases of pertussis began to escalate each year.
Clinical identification of the disease is the leading reason why the number of reports has been increasing. Additionally, the ability to diagnose the disease through laboratory testing and increasing awareness contributes to the increasing reports of pertussis. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention believes that the true number of cases is much higher. Lifestyle, Socioeconomic Status, and Disease Management Pertussis is a communicable disease that has no boundaries. Pertussis can be spread to anyone and at any time. A few individuals have a higher risk for contracting the disease.
These individuals include teenagers (ranging from 10-19), infants younger than six months (specifically the Latino community), individuals who are have a lower immune defense, the elderly, and clinical staff (Lin, 2010). Obviously, the main reason infants and elderly are susceptible is that they have a lower ability to defend themselves against infectious disease. Teenagers are usually healthy but come into contact with more individuals and can spread the disease between others. Clinical staffs have a higher risk of exposure secondary to their careers. Increased possible exposure leads to potential risk of contracting the disease.
The Latino community is thought to have a higher risk because the majority of this community lives in homes with many family members (Lin, 2010). Community Programs Increasing awareness of pertussis has led to a legislative move to increase vaccination. The new law regarding vaccination includes middle and high school students prior to the new school year beginning. Already the schools have sent notices to all parents of students to ensure that they meet these requirements. Given the number of cases in California and the number of deaths relating to pertussis, the vaccination has become imperative to reduce the risk of the disease spreading.
Confirmation of 7,800 cases with 10 deaths in California has given the drive for vaccination prior to school (California Department of Public Health, 2010). Parents of students have a notice to vaccinate early because the parents have no grace periods for this vaccination. The California Department of Public Health claims that the new vaccination regulation will help obtain the goal of reducing the spread of the disease and to decrease the mortality rate (California Department of Public Health, 2010). Conclusion
The State of California has begun a vaccination program to enhance the ability to prevent and reduce the number of outbreaks within the borders of the state. Many people are susceptible to contracting the disease. Teenagers, elderly, infants, and clinical staff members are among those who are at greater risk of contracting the disease. Through education and prevention programs California will be able to meet the demands of reducing morbidity and mortality rates within the state. References California Department of Public Health. (2010).
New law requires pertussis immunization for middle and high school students in 2011. Retrieved from http://www. cdph. ca. gov/Pages/NR10-100. aspx The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Pertussis (Whooping cough). Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/pertussis/outbreaks. html The Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Pertussis (Disease Specifics). Retrieved from http://www. cdc. gov/pertussis/clinical/disease-specifics. html Lin, R. G. (October, 2010). Whooping cough cases top 6,000 in California. Los Angeles Times