Communicable (Infectious) Diseases in the US

Communicable diseases are infections that are spread from one individual to another. They can also be referred to as contagious or infectious diseases. Human beings can contract infectious diseases from animals. According to scientists, infectious diseases are spread via blood, body fluid, and mostly via air that is bacteria and viruses (Rogers 2011).

Currently, in the United States of America, there are certain infectious diseases that continue to affect its population. They include:

HIV and AIDS

There has been no known cure for HIV/AIDS. However, scientists have increased their efforts in order to find a cure for this disease. Antiretroviral drugs have been made available to help those infected by the disease live longer.

Influenza

This affects people all over the world. There is a need for countries from all over the world to come together and ensure that the disease is properly managed.

Hepatitis

There are various types of Hepatitis. Viral Hepatitis is attributed to being caused by a virus. The disease is believed to cause about 80% of all liver cancer cases reported in the United States of America. Research has shown that one out of three people in the world is infected by Hepatitis B (Shetty & Tang 2009).

Tuberculosis

This is an airborne disease. The government is doing all it can to control the spread of this disease.

Polio

This is an infectious disease that normally affects children below the age of 5 years. The government has rolled out vaccine programs that have helped in the eradication of the disease.

Reasons for emergence and re-emergence of diseases

Emerging diseases are those diseases that have come into existence in the past two decades (Shetty & Tang 2009). These diseases are believed to be caused by changes in demographics and changes in human behavior. Due to this, the human species is brought closer to the viruses or pathogens that usually cause such diseases.

Diseases have also been known to re-emerge. There are several reasons for this; pathogens usually recombine with other pathogens. This makes the immune system of human beings to be vulnerable to new infections. Continuous usage of drugs has been attributed to be one of the major reasons why diseases have been re-emerging. This is because the pathogens will grow resistant to the drug and make the disease that was previously been treated by the drug not to be treatable using the same drug. Research has shown that non-compliance with vaccine programs put in place has also contributed to the re-emergence of diseases (Beltz 2011).

Factors making up the chain of infections

A chain of infection is a model that is used to explain how people are infected with diseases. It has certain stages that take place in a certain order. The main factors include; the agent causing the infection, reservoir, exit portal used, how the infection is transmitted to an individual, how the infection gains its way into the body of an individual and the last stage is susceptible host.

Types of immunity

Natural active immunity

This occurs when the human body produces certain antibodies during an infection. The body will keep the memory of this and will help fight the infection occurring from the same antigen in the future (Shetty & Tang 2009).

Artificial active immunity

This occurs in form of vaccines. An individual is given a small dose of a pathogen that has been weakened. This will make the body produce pathogens that will help fight the weakened infection.

Natural passive immunity

This is where immunity is transferred from mother to child. Immunity can be transferred through the placenta or when the mother is breastfeeding the child.

Artificial partial immunity

This occurs when a person is injected with antibodies that have been produced in another animal.

References

Beltz, L. A. (2011). Emerging infectious diseases a guide to diseases, causative agents, and surveillance. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Rogers, K. (2011). Infectious diseases. New York: Britannica Educational Pub. in association with Rosen Educational Services.

Shetty, N., & Tang, J. W. (2009). Infectious disease pathogenesis, prevention, and case studies. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

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