Influenza Essay

1385 words - 6 pages

Influenza Epidemic
Valerie Capobianco, RN
Grand Canyon University
Concepts in Community and Public Health
Mary Nicks MSN, RN
August 14, 2014

Influenza Epidemic

Studying the distribution and determinants of health-related events, including disease, and the relevance of the study to control the disease along with other health problems is known as epidemiology. (World Health Organization, 2014) This author would like to discuss one of those diseases, that being influenza. Influenza viruses do not discriminate and affect individuals worldwide. This paper will include how the determinants of health contributes to the development of influenza, elements of epidemiologic ...view middle of the document...

(Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014)
People often confuse the flu with the common cold. Unlike the common cold, flu symptoms come on suddenly, out of know where. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC, 2014, para. 2) flu symptoms consist of; “fevers and chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscles and body aches, headaches, fatigue, and some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults”.
Complications from influenza range from sinus and ear infections to bronchitis, however the most common and most severe complications is pneumonia which could lead to death. The group of individuals that are placed at a higher risk to for these complications consist of; “young children (less than two years old), older adults (over 65), pregnant women, individuals with weakened immune systems, and individuals who have a chronic illness”. (WHO, 2011, pg. 28)
The best treatment is prevention! Recommendation have been set for individuals over the age of six months old to receive a yearly vaccination, which can be given via injection or as nasal spray. (Mayo Clinic, 2014) According to WHO (2011, pg. 26) one sneeze from an infected person releases up to “40,000 droplets in the air, enough to infect many healthy people”. Part of the community health nurse’s role is to educate the public on vaccinations and to cover one’s sneeze or cough and hand washing is essential. Other treatment for influenza consists of plenty of bed rest and fluids. However, there are some instances that a physician may prescribe medications such as Tamiflu or Relenza. Both medications assist on shortening the length of the illness and help prevent more serious complications mentioned above. (Mayo Clinic, 2014)
According to WHO (2014c, para. 8), “influenza occurs globally with an annual attack rate estimated at 5%–10% in adults and 20%–30% in children. Worldwide, these annual epidemics are estimated to result in about 3 to 5 million cases of severe illness, and about 250 000 to 500 000 deaths”. Pandemics occur every 10 – 40 years. In 1918 the deadliest disease event was the Spanish influenza pandemic killing an estimated 40-50 million people worldwide. Other pandemics occurred such as the Asian influenza in 1957 with an estimated 2 million deaths and in 1968 Hong Kong influenza with an estimated 1 million deaths. (WHO, 2011, pg. 26)
There are several determinants of health that contribute to influenza. One being work environment, health care workers and child care personnel are more likely to have close contact with people infected with influenza. Living environment plays a factor, for example people who live in facilities along with many other residents, such as nursing homes or military barracks, prisons, college dorms, are more likely to develop influenza. Health Services is another factor, not everyone has access to the flu vaccine and during peak flu...

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