The recent events of Hurricane Irma created an increasingly unhealthy environment for the city of Miami, Florida. This situation requires additional actions to prevent the spread of communicable illnesses. Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (zip code 33125) was contacted to identify the issues that require attention. Then, an action plan was created to contain the diseases based on the Healthy People 2020 initiative. This paper will outline the analysis and action plan stages.
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Analysis of the City
The city is currently in the recovery stages after the events of Hurricane Irma. When the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dale County was contacted, their primary efforts were focused on helping people who suffered in the disaster. However, they provided the latest epidemiology and surveillance data related to communicable diseases in the area. The data showcased a steady increase in cases of tuberculosis, mumps, and influenza. Cases of tuberculosis have been a relative rarity in the last decade, but the number of cases has grown in current years. The spread of tuberculosis can increase exponentially if current rates are not contained. On the other hand, mumps and influenza have shown only shown moderate increases in comparison with previous years. However, the current state of the city suggests that this situation may exacerbate. These diseases are preventable but can lead to extremely negative patient outcomes and further spread of disease if proper measures are not taken. This issue requires the creation of an action plan.
The three diseases that require containment are tuberculosis, mumps, and influenza. Tuberculosis is a lung disease caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is spread through the air when the infected people sneeze, cough, spit, or sometimes speak. Its symptoms include a chronic cough, fever, night sweats, sputum mixed with blood. Other organs may also become infected, which could lead to further development of negative symptoms (Fogel, 2015). Due to the high likelihood of infection, this disease could affect two specific groups of people: untreated or unaware patients, and unvaccinated citizens.
Mumps is caused by the highly contagious mumps virus. It is spread through the air and direct contact with the person. Its symptoms include swelling of parotid salivary glands, fever, muscle pain, and lack of strength. The disease is much more severe in adults than in children and can cause such complications as pancreatitis, permanent deafness, meningitis, and infertility (Demicheli, Rivetti, Debalini, & Di Pietrantonj, 2013). The severe complications that the disease may bring make prevention measures a number one priority when mumps are the issue.
Influenza is a common virus that is spread through the air by the infected people. Its symptoms include a runny nose, coughing, headache, muscle pains, sore throat, and a high fever. It is highly contagious and can stay on surfaces for a long time (Allan & Arroll, 2014). However, many preventative measures exist, and with appropriate education on the part of the medical facilities, citizens may avoid infection.
Action Plan Based on Healthy People 2020
“Healthy People 2020” is an initiative started by the Federal Interagency Workgroup with contributions from a great number of federal agencies. Its vision is “a society in which all people live long, healthy lives.” It is focused on finding issues, increasing public awareness of them, providing measurable objectives of their implementation, and the engagement of multiple sectors to improve care through practices and policies (“Healthy People 2020,” 2017). Plans based on this initiative seek to make people live longer through better care, health equity, improvement of social and physical environments, as well as the quality of life as a whole.
|Phase 1 |
Research all the available information resources to gain the most recent guidelines for the prevention and treatment practices of these diseases.
|Scholarly resources and sites of trusted medical organizations would be used during the search. Literature reviews and guidelines would be preferred.|
|Phase 2 |
Search and development of partnerships with medical facilities in the area to provide additional services to the citizens.
|The plan requires the services of vaccination facilities, treatment centers and may require quarantine in extreme cases.|
|Phase 3 |
Promotion of preventative measures and further education about diseases through media.
|Public service announcements on television and radio should be used, as well as social media engagement and paper booklets in medical facilities.|
|Phase 4 |
Implementation of preventative measures.
|Preventative measures include relevant vaccines, anti-viral drugs, and other appropriate options. Vaccinations will be done for free for the duration of the initiative.|
|Phase 5 |
Treatment of the infected people.
|For already infected patients, treatment centers should be selected to provide care before complications may develop.|
|Phase 6 |
Evaluation and correction.
|After all the phases are implemented, the results should be evaluated through a comparison of data from before and after the initiative started.|
By containing these infectious diseases, the life expectancy of the city should improve. Simple and effective care will be provided to all the people in the community, with health equity in mind. Airborne infections have a severe effect on both physical and social environments. When people are at risk of infection, stress, and suspicion rise, which can only be negative. Also, health behaviors and development are promoted through media, which should increase the quality of life.
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Miami has just survived a hurricane, and the level of stress is still high among its citizens. However, communicable disease prevention should not be forgotten. By creating and implementing an action plan for this issue, tuberculosis, mumps, and influenza could become much rarer diseases in the area, and the quality of life may increase.
Allan, G., & Arroll, B. (2014). Prevention and treatment of the common cold: Making sense of the evidence. Canadian Medical Association Journal, 186(3), 190-199.
Demicheli, V., Rivetti, A., Debalini, M., & Di Pietrantonj, C. (2013). Vaccines for measles, mumps and rubella in children. Evidence-Based Child Health: A Cochrane Review Journal, 8(6), 2076-2238.
Fogel, N. (2015). Tuberculosis: A disease without boundaries. Tuberculosis, 95(5), 527-531.
Healthy People 2020. (2017). Web.