Benchmark Assignment: Tuberculosis Epidemiology
Melinda A. Graham
Grand Canyon University: NRS 427
November 15, 2015
Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease that has been present in history for many years. Even with modern medicine and the advances that have been made to treat TB it is still claiming lives. This disease is caused by mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is transferred from person to person ultimately affecting the lungs, but can cause harm to other parts of the body (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2015). Although this disease is not as common as it once was in the United States it is still present in our world and causing mortalities. According to the ...view middle of the document...
Complications are associated to where the disease has spread. TB of the lungs is known as pulmonary TB, which appear as the complications listed above. Whereas extrapulmonary TB “results from pulmonary TB that has spread via the bloodstream” (Strauch, 2016, para. 5). This form of TB can cause complications ranging from the brain, headaches or dizziness, to the reproductive organs for both sexes. With all of this said in regards to the symptoms and a long list of complications there are options for treatment.
The treatment for TB can take quite some time and it is important for the individual to complete all of their medication regimen. According to the CDC (2015), “TB disease can be treated by taking several drugs for 6 to 12 months” (para. 11). As you can see that is a long time for an individual to seek treatment. It is not unusual for the person to miss a treatment, therefore the risk of having TB resistant to antibiotics because all the bacteria is not killed during the treatment time can occur. To solve this issue local health departments meet with the individual to make sure they are compliant with treatment by visually watching the infected individual take their medication. This is call directly observed therapy or DOT (CDC, 2015).Although there are treatment options for those diagnosed with TB it is still causing deaths, consequently it is still spreading from person to person. The mortality rate during the year 2013 were approximately 1.5 million; however, between the years 1990 and 2013 there has been a 45% decrease. Furthermore, the incidence rate is 5.7 million and the prevalence is at 9 million. The key question is why are these numbers so high? This relates to the determinants of health, specifically physical and social determinants. Examples of social and physical determinants of health that are lacking and ultimately adding to the number of cases include inadequate access to health care services, minimal availability of resources to meet daily needs (shelter or food), and poor environmental surroundings. More specifically, poor ventilation, lack of space in homes, work environments and community settings also add to the determinants. Likewise, difficulty with transportation to healthcare facilities also contributes to the health determinants and the rise in TB cases in low to middle income countries (Hargreaves et al., 2011). On a more positive note, between the years 2000 and 2013, 37 million individuals were diagnosed and received effective treatment, saving theirs lives from TB (WHO, 2015). With this said, the community health nurse plays an important role in caring for those within the community diagnosed with TB, especially to inform and educate the community about TB.
The first step in educating the community about TB is how the disease is spread, more specifically through the epidemiologic triangle. The three parts to this triangle include the host factor, or the person who carries the disease, the causative agent,...