Healthy People is known as a program on a nationwide scale aimed at health promotion and preventive measures. It is run on a regular basis. Nowadays, Healthy People 2020 is a guide for health care professionals: it sets several key goals in different areas, one of which is immunization and infectious diseases. Indeed, this sphere needs improvement since infectious diseases are reported to be a major cause of illness, disability, and death (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, n.d.). In this work, attention is paid only to communicable diseases that are the predominant type of infectious illnesses.
This presentation concentrates on Miami, Florida (zip code 33190), and three communicable diseases: encephalitis, giardiasis, and granuloma inguinale. For each of them, the current situation in Miami, the ways the diseases are identified, and the plan of action in connection with Healthy People 2020 are examined. Finally, the conclusion concerning the epidemiological data in the city is drawn.
Encephalitis in Miami
There has been an improvement in terms of encephalitis all over Florida in recent times. According to the statistics, in 2009, 3 cases were registered, while in 2011 and 2013 one case in each year took place in Florida (Encephalites, 2014). As for Miami, there were no cases of encephalitis.
Despite the achieved success, hospitals and clinics continue to work in this sphere. They identify the peculiarities of encephalitis and share this information. University of Miami Health System (n.d.a) explores the ways encephalitis is diagnosed. Judging by the characteristic symptoms, namely viral diseases, upper respiratory tract infection, diarrhea, nausea, emesis, one may make a diagnosis; looking beyond the most frequent indications, this list may also include a headache, problems with pronouncing speech sounds, impatience, drowse, apathy, unsteady walk, and so on. The diagnosis of encephalitis is made “after the sudden or gradual onset of specific symptoms and after diagnostic testing,” such as X-ray, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), blood tests, urine and stool tests, sputum culture, electroencephalogram, and some others (University of Miami Health System, n.d.a, para. 24). A patient is also asked if they had a cold a while ago, visited particular regions of the country or abroad, and contacted animals. Depending on a concrete case, a doctor orders necessary testing.
Plan of Action
In accordance with the goal set by Healthy People 2020, preventive measures are in the focus of health care professionals’ attention. In this respect, one of the most important issues is an early warning. Drugs to “control the infection, seizures, fever, or other conditions” are used (University of Miami Health System, n.d.a, para. 44). Population education is also vital: practicing proper hygiene, getting vaccinations, and protecting oneself from mosquitoes become significant.
Giardiasis in Miami
The expansion of giardiasis is mainly associated with international immigration, especially from Cuba. Many researchers concentrate on giardiasis rates among visitors. Among the risk groups, Hispanic, Non-Hispanic White, and Non-Hispanic Black are named, especially children aged 1-4 years, followed by those aged 5-9 years, and adults aged 45-49 years (Griffin, 2016). In Miami, the tendencies are similar to the whole country rates. It is reported that the level of giardiasis morbidity is lowering, but there is still much work to do.
Giardia intestinalis is one of the most common intestinal parasites in the world: it is not only prevalent in developing regions with poor sanitary conditions, poor water quality control, and overcrowding, but also in the USA (University of Miami Health System, n.d.b). Giardia intestinal parasite that lives in two stages is the cause of the disease: a person can contract an illness when they eat or drink and ingest cysts. As a result, certain symptoms appear explosive, watery, foul-smelling stools, abdominal distention, nausea, lack of appetite, stomachache, weakness, and discomfort. However, patients usually do not present with these symptoms for quite a long time, approximately two weeks. It is also probable that infected people will have mild symptoms or none. Besides, the symptoms of giardiasis may be confused with other gastrointestinal diseases (University of Miami Health System, n.d.b). Antibiotics become the primary treatment for infected people.
Plan of Action
In agreement with the Health People 2020 goal to prevent infectious disease transmission, the plan of action concerning giardia includes, again, practicing appropriate personal hygiene and being careful with those who are potentially infected. Education becomes the cornerstone of prevention: people should know the simple rules, such as to consume only boiled water or bottled carbonated drinks in dangerous areas, do not use ice and drink beverages made from tap water, and do not eat uncooked and unpeeled vegetables and fruits that were grown in this place (University of Miami Health System, n.d.b).
Granuloma Inguinale in Miami
Granuloma Inguinale (donovanosis) rarely occurs in Miami and throughout the USA, while the population in tropical developing countries can be infected easily. As a rule, it is described in the context of other sexually transmitted diseases (University of Miami Health System, n.d.c). Consequently, the exact number of donovanosis cases in Miami is unknown.
Granuloma inguinale is one of the genital ulcerative diseases; it is caused by Klebsiella granulomatis, the intracellular gram-negative bacterium (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). As for the key symptoms, the illness is often painless; it is characterized by slowly progressive highly vascular ulcerative lesions on the genitals or perineum with no regional lymphadenopathy (University of Miami Health System, n.d.c).
The disease is quite difficult to diagnose: it is quite difficult to culture the bacterium. Dark-staining Donovan bodies are one of the identification marks that can be seen directly. No FDA-cleared molecular tests for the detection of the bacterium DNA exist (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).
Plan of Action
In comparison with encephalitis and giardiasis, donovanosis can be examined in the context of two Healthy People 2020 goals: to reduce the number of preventable infectious diseases cases and promote healthy sexual behaviors. Thus, the plan of action refers to preventive measures connected with personal hygiene and management of sex partners.
Treatment proves to halt the progression of lesions, and healing typically proceeds inward from the ulcer margins; prolonged therapy (for instance, azithromycin or doxycycline) is usually required (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015).
To sum it up, Health People 2020 is a program intended to improve the population’s health. In this regard, several important areas are identified, and immunization and infectious diseases prevention are one of the most significant goals set within the program. In Miami, preventative care and patient education are essential components of the program implementation. Communicable diseases, such as encephalitis, giardiasis, and granuloma inguinale, are closely monitored. Although these diseases are not so frequent at the moment, it is necessary to continue work in this sphere and achieve better results, that is, to stop them.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015). Granuloma Inguinale (Donovanosis). Web.
Encephalites. (2014). Web.
Griffin, I. (2016). Refugees & residents: The epidemiology of giardiasis in Miami-Dade County, Florida, 2011-2014. Web.
Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (n.d.). Immunization and infectious diseases. Web.
University of Miami Health System. (n.d.a). What is encephalitis? Web.
University of Miami Health System. (n.d.b). What is giardiasis? Web.
University of Miami Health System. (n.d.c). Sexually transmitted diseases. Web.