Public health is one of the most important concerns of the federal and state governments. Healthcare professionals and officials develop various policies and programs aimed at prevention, screening, and treatment. Different states often have quite specific health issues due to environmental peculiarities and the economic situation in the area. Minority groups are often less protected and tend to have limited access to high-quality healthcare services.
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The Lake county of Florida (zip code 95424) also faces a number of quite urgent health concerns. The most urgent communicable illnesses to address include the Zika virus, HIV, and influenza. These diseases are characterized by different symptoms and treatment plans, but they all may have detrimental effects on females’ and children’s health. This paper focuses on the prevention and treatment of these diseases in females provided in Lake County, Florida.
Zika virus can affect all populations irrespective of age, ethnicity, and so on. This disorder can remain unnoticed as the major signs of this infectious illness include fever, headache, rash, muscle pain (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2017). There are no adverse health outcomes in the vast majority of infected people. Individuals may even decide not to address a doctor, so they do not know that they can infect others. Therefore, the spread of the disorder can be under-reported. In 2017, 18 Zika cases were reported, while there were 1,834 cases in 2016 (The Florida Department of Health, 2017). The most vulnerable population is pregnant women who may transmit the illness to their fetus, which will result in the development of major brain damage in the baby.
There is no vaccine to prevent or antiviral medication able to treat the infection, so the most effective strategy to use is to avoid mosquito bites. Mosquitoes transmit the virus to people. There are areas where the virus spreads, and pregnant women are cautioned about possible health risks (CDC, 2017). It can also be transmitted through unprotected sex, blood transfusion, and from mother to child. The Florida Department of Health in Lake County has developed various programs aimed at raising people’s awareness concerning prevention strategies.
One such incentive is the program Spill the Water that encourages communities to control mosquitoes spread (The Florida Department of Health, n.d.). Various healthcare facilities and health-related organizations inform pregnant women about health hazards and possible ways to avoid infection. Such incentives are consistent with the MICH-1 objective of the Healthy People 2020 initiative.
HIV is a more serious illness as it can have detrimental effects on the health of mother and child. In 2016, the death rate reached 4.3 per 100,000 people (“Florida Vital Statistics Annual Report 2016,” 2017). It is noteworthy that the rate is significantly higher among minority groups as the rate of black males’ death was almost 18, and black females’ deaths rate was 11.4. It is clear that such populations as women of color and females living in poor neighborhoods are vulnerable to the development of this communicable disease. Similar to the Zika virus, HIV has no vaccines or effective medication that can cure people.
However, there are medications that can help people address unpleasant and dangerous symptoms of the disorder and maintain active lifestyles. HIV prevention is one of the major areas of concern within the Healthy People 2020 initiative. Such populations as females and pregnant females are also considered. Testing is regarded as an important strategy contributing to the prevention of the illness (Healthy People 2020, 2018a). The federal and state governments also invest in the development of strategies to treat the disorder.
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The Florida Department of Health has developed a number of programs and policies to address the needs of infected people. Apart from counseling, Lake County government, in collaboration with governmental agencies, health providers, and non-governmental organizations, has come up with numerous services. For example, people may receive assistance with housing, dental care, primary care, nutrition, as well as prescription aid, and community partnerships (“HIV AIDS,” n.d.). Surveillance and early prevention are regarded as pivotal services that can improve the situation significantly in the state and the USA. The special focus is on such populations as minority groups, low-income families, underprivileged communities.
Influenza is a widespread infection that can be associated with serious health issues. The disease may have complications that can lead to the death of the infected person. For instance, the death rate of people who suffered from influenza and pneumonia reached 13.9 per 100,000 (“Florida Vital Statistics Annual Report 2016,” 2017). Notably, the death rate is lower among people of color as it was 10.2 for black males and 10 for black females in 2016.
Therefore, the prevention and treatment of this disorder are areas of specific concern of healthcare providers. The Healthy People 2020 initiative’s objectives are characterized by the focus on the increase in the number of vaccinated people (Healthy People 2020, 2018b). The vaccination of pregnant women is also within the scope of the initiative’s objectives. Some women are afraid of negative effects on their fetus so try to avoid vaccination.
The Florida Department of Health also pays sufficient attention to the issue. Apart from various incentives aimed at encouraging people to vaccinate, people are informed about other prevention strategies. For instance, healthcare professionals and health-related organizations raise people’s awareness of the benefits of hygiene and a healthy lifestyle (Lopez, 2017). At the same time, the county’s healthcare professionals see vaccination as the most effective way to prevent the spread of disease. Every flu season, programs aimed at the promotion of vaccines are launched. It is noteworthy that the county has an insufficient number of programs and incentives aimed at helping low-income or minority groups, which can potentially undermine the efforts made.
On balance, the federal and local governments contribute significantly to addressing such serious health issues as Zika Virus, HIV, and influenza. One of the most remarkable aspects of these efforts is associated with the engagement of the community. People are encouraged to contribute to the development of safer communities. At that, it is possible to add that minority groups and low-income neighborhoods receive sufficient support in addressing HIV-related issues.
Zika virus and influenza are specifically dangerous for these groups as they do not get the necessary assistance. Hence, it is important to reconsider health plans for the county and develop additional programs and initiatives to address the needs of various minority groups. Females, especially pregnant women, are specifically prone to the infections mentioned above. This population can have quite a distorted understanding of vaccination or other strategies that can help prevent disorders. Healthcare professionals and officials should take this into account to contribute to the development of healthy communities.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Advice for people living in or traveling to South Florida. Web.
The Florida Department of Health. (n.d.). Spill the Water. Web.
The Florida Department of Health. (2017). Department of Health daily Zika update. Web.
Florida Vital Statistics Annual Report 2016. (2017). Web.
Healthy People 2020. (2018a). HIV. Web.
Healthy People 2020. (2018b). Maternal, infant, and child health. Web.
HIV to AIDS. (n.d.). Web.
Lopez, N. (2017). Florida Department of Health in Lake County urges vaccination as flu season intensifies. Web.