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Miami Infectious Diseases and Healthy People 2020


Communicable or infectious diseases are a burden of the contemporary society. Immunization stimulated substantial progress in eliminating infectious diseases but their cases are still frequent due to healthcare access disparities and many other reasons. According to Healthy People 2020 initiative (2018), the US healthcare system targets 17 infectious diseases that can be prevented through immunization. Apart from the national policy, states and counties throughout the country have their specific goals and objectives that address communicable diseases in every community. For example, Miami-Dade Health Department included work with communicable diseases into its strategic plan for 2015-2018 (“Strategic plan 2015-2018,” 2015). The current paper presents the issue of communicable diseases in general and focuses on the state of things concerning this problem in Miami, Florida.

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Healthy People 2020 about Infectious Diseases

One of the major goals of Health People 2020 (2018) is to “increase immunization rates and reduce preventable infectious diseases” (para. 1). The focus is on the necessity of immunization practice for preventable diseases not to allow epidemic situation. The objectives of the topic about immunization and infectious diseases are mainly related to the reduction and elimination of cases of preventable diseases and an increase of vaccinated population. For example, interventions to meet these objectives include home visits to increase vaccination rates, screenings for communicable diseases such as hepatitis or tuberculosis, seasonal immunizations, etc. (Healthy People 2020, 2018).

Communicable Diseases in Miami, Florida: Epidemiology and Surveillance

Miami (Florida, zip code 33142) is a central city in Miami Dade County. The state of Florida, on the whole, and the county, in particular, pay much attention to the prevention of communicable diseases. For example, the healthcare department of Miami Dade County works according to a community health improvement plan to address the most significant public health issues and keep them under control. Communicable diseases that demonstrate higher rates in Miami than in the whole state include HIV, syphilis, and tuberculosis. Thus, according to Florida morbidity statistics report 2014 (2015), there were 130 reported tuberculosis cases in Miami Dade that makes up an incidence rate of about 6 per 100,000 people (p. 72). The same report showed that out of 6112 reported cases of syphilis in 2014 in Florida, 1905 were recorded in Miami Dade and that makes one of the highest incidence rates throughout the state. The situation with HIV infection in Miami Dade is also critical. Out of 4613 cases of HIV reported in Florida, 1198 were from this county (“Florida morbidity statistics report 2014,” 2015). Thus, Miami Dade county should plan interventions to improve the situation with communicable diseases and positively influence the health condition of the community.

Effect of Communicable Diseases on Community and a Plan of Action

Communicable diseases do not only have a negative effect on a single person. Frequently, they influence the whole community. Thus, high rates of such communicable diseases as HIV, syphilis, tuberculosis, etc. have a significant negative effect on the economic situation of the community. First of all, outbreaks of communicable diseases can cause health service collapse. Healthcare providers are busy with the increasing number of new patients and have less time for other clients. Moreover, people who get a communicable disease cannot work that also has a negative economic effect. Finally, the increasing number of people with communicable diseases would need insurance to cover their treatment.

It is evident that actions should be taken to improve the situation with the mentioned communicable diseases in Miami. Some interventions are already included into Miami-Dade County community health improvement plan and Strategic plan 2015-2018. For example, one of the strategies aimed at the prevention of exposure to infectious diseases presupposes “educational outreach, testing, behavior change, early identification and treatment and community collaboration” (“Miami-Dade County community health improvement plan,” 2013).

Another goal of the health improvement plan is to “Promote healthy sexual behaviors, strengthen community capacity, and increase access to quality services to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and their complications” (“Miami-Dade County community health improvement plan,” 2013, p. 16). For HIV, there are community prevention strategies. For example, The Business Responds to AIDS (BRTA) initiative that is a domestic partnership, helps HIV prevention on the local level through the support of educational initiatives, promotion activities, and reduction of discrimination and stigma (“Community prevention,” 2018). On the whole, the plan of action to reduce or eliminate communicable diseases should include such interventions as an improvement of access to healthcare facilities, popularization of immunization, education of community members, and initiatives aimed at timely identification and treatment to avoid the further spread of these diseases.


Generally speaking, communicable diseases are a threat for humanity because they are difficult to prevent and control. While there is a possibility to prevent some of them through immunization, the others mainly depend on the population’s lifestyles. Still, the reduction of communicable diseases incidence should be a concern of the community. Education and information interventions together with testing for early identification and treatment should be included into healthcare plans of states and counties to provide control over the problem.

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Community prevention. (2018). Web.

Florida morbidity statistics report 2014. (2015).

Healthy People 2020. (2018). Immunization and infectious diseases.

Miami-Dade County community health improvement plan. (2013).

Strategic plan 2015-2018. (2015). Web.

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