Epidemiology in Miami and Healthy People 2020 Plan


In 2010, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) unveiled 10-year goals and objectives dubbed Healthy People 2020 to promote health and prevent diseases across the country. The program has 42 topics and close to 600 topics that seek to provide measurable objectives, increase public awareness, identify health improvement areas and engage in research among other targeted actions. Some topics include immunization and infectious diseases, dealing with tobacco use, and food safety. However, despite the clear roadmap on how to deal with such issues, outbreaks and tobacco-related health complications have been reported in different parts of the country. This paper focuses on the outbreaks of measles, hepatitis A, and lung injury related to vaping. The paper discusses how these three conditions affect the community, how they are identified, and gives a plan of action to contain them based on Healthy People 2020.

How these Conditions Affect Community

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2019), Florida was one of the states reported to have a measles outbreak in the US. The most vulnerable individuals are those that have not been vaccinated against measles. Gastañaduy et al. (2018) note that measles increases disease burdens to communities as it is linked to other health conditions, such as pneumonia, diarrhea, ear infections, and brain inflammations among others. Additionally, this condition leads to death, increased cost of care, and depletes resources allocated towards its containment and prevention once outbreaks occur.

Similarly, widespread outbreaks of hepatitis A have been reported in the US, especially through person-to-person contact. The most vulnerable individuals are those unvaccinated against the disease. Stanaway(2016) argues that while cases of hepatitis A have reduced, when outbreaks occur, the disease burden is unparalleled as it leads to high morbidity and mortality cases. This health condition also leads to poor quality of life, families suffer as money is needed for the treatment of the disease, and healthcare infrastructures are constrained.

Vaping is an emerging concept linked with the concept of dealing with traditional smoking trends. However, serious health challenges are associated with this behavior. An article published in the Journal of the American Heart Association highlights the many health challenges associated with vaping, especially on the cardiovascular system (Qasim, Karim, Rivera, Khasawneh, & Alshbool,2017). The community is affected due to the burden of disease placed on its healthcare systems when the negative effects of vaping start presenting.


According to the CDC (2019), outbreaks are identified through the elaborate healthcare infrastructure that has been set to monitor trends. In addition, Healthy People 2020 has laid out mechanisms to combat the spread of these diseases and their outbreaks. Therefore, every time there is an outbreak, health care officials within the system are on a high alert to document such cases and outline elaborate measures of containing the issue. In the US, outbreaks are normally identified through comprehensible notifiable disease surveillance using laboratory results (Snyder et al., 2019).

A Plan of Action for Containment Based on Healthy People 2020

Measles and Hepatitis A Outbreaks

The Healthy People 2020 roadmap has clear guidelines for what has to be done to contain outbreaks. The first step is surveillance to allow early detection of diseases. Once cases of outbreaks have been identified through surveillance and laboratory testing, surveillance is intensified to determine the size and geographical extent of the outbreak. The next step, which takes place less than 48 hours after an outbreak, is to conduct a case investigation, which involves identifying people who might have been exposed to suspected cases. Demographic, epidemiologic, clinical, and immunization data is collected during this stage. Identified cases of infection are interviewed to establish the status of their vaccination to offer prophylaxis in case they are vaccinated or be vaccinated if they are yet to. In cases where the affected individuals had been vaccinated within seven to 14 days, specimens should be obtained to determine whether there is a need to take further preventive actions. Descriptive analysis of the outbreak is carried out on an ongoing basis to ascertain the appropriate actions to be taken. Finally, all outbreaks should be reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) to enhance surveillance activities.


The plan for containing lung injury outbreaks caused by vaping can be derived from the Healthy People 2020 framework for ending tobacco use. The framework entails “increasing prices for e-cigarettes, enacting comprehensive smoke-free policies expanding cessation treatment in clinical care settings and providing access to proven cessation treatment to all smokers, implementing hard-hitting anti-tobacco media campaigns, and fully funding tobacco control programs at CDC-recommended levels” (Healthy People 2020, 2019). Additionally, normal surveillance efforts could be utilized to establish outbreaks and offer the necessary care.


Disease outbreaks are common in the US despite the concerted efforts to reduce such incidences. Measles, Hepatitis A, and lung injury outbreaks caused by vaping have been identified in this paper as some of the cases that have occurred in Florida recently. These outbreaks increase the burden on diseases to individuals and communities because it is expensive to treat them. In addition, deaths caused in the process leave lasting negative effects on the community. Outbreaks are identified through elaborate disease surveillance, which is part of the healthcare infrastructure. Plans of action to contain such outbreaks are detailed in Healthy People 2020 as discussed in this paper.


CDC. (2019). Web.

Gastañaduy, P. A., Banerjee, E., DeBolt, C., Bravo-Alcántara, P., Samad, S. A., Pastor, D., … Durrheim, D. N. (2018). Public health responses during measles outbreaks in elimination settings: Strategies and challenges. Human Vaccines & Immunotherapeutics, 14(9), 2222-2238. Web.

Healthy People 2020. (2019). Web.

Qasim, H., Karim, Z. A., Rivera, J. O., Khasawneh, F. T., & Alshbool, F. Z. (2017). Impact of electronic cigarettes on the cardiovascular system. Journal of the American Heart Association, 6(9), 76-92. Web.

Snyder, M. R., McGinty, M. D., Shearer, M. P., Meyer, D., Hurtado, C., & Nuzzo, J. B. (2019). Outbreaks of Hepatitis A in US communities, 2017-2018: Firsthand experiences and operational lessons from public health responses. American Journal Of Public Health, 109(4), 297-302. Web.

Stanaway, J. D., Flaxman, A. D., Naghavi, M., Fitzmaurice, C., Vos, T., Abubakar, I., … Cooke, G. S. (2016). The global burden of viral hepatitis from 1990 to 2013: Findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Lancet, 388(10049), 1081–1088. Web.

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