Epidemiology of Communicable Diseases in Miami

Table of Contents

Influenza A

Influenza A is an acute infectious disease that is prone to epidemic spread and clinically manifested in severe toxicosis and catarrhal phenomena on the part of the respiratory tract. The viruses of this group are highly contagious and may cause rapidly growing epidemics: within several weeks, up to half of the population in a particular region can get sick. Beginning with the 20th century, the epidemic of Influenza A occurs every year, depending on a certain area.

In Miami, Florida, the risk of the Influenza A epidemic is moderate – the last outbreak of this disease was more than 15 years ago. The review of the Florida Health Department website shows that this disease is not associated with a specific population or age group (“Influenza,” 2016). It should be stressed that weather conditions, especially autumn, may lead to the increased morbidity, yet such a situation cannot be called an epidemic. It is recommended to avoid contact with sick people, wash hands after visiting public places, and be more sensitive to such symptoms as coughing or sneezing.

Healthy People 2020 initiative promotes the use of vaccines to prevent morbidity. It is reported that the complications that may be caused by Influenza A, including otitis media, bronchitis, and so on, maybe more threatening to one’s health. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends using the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) and recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV) in terms of disease prevention (“Influenza,” 2016). The complications associated with the identified disease are also related to a lack of understanding of how to avoid it. Therefore, it is important that nurses should explain to patients the opportunities provided by healthcare services. Even though vaccination cannot guarantee that a patient will not be diagnosed with Influenza A, it can significantly reduce the risk.

AIDS

In Miami, the situation with the Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) can be regarded as alarming since the rates of morbidity increased within the last years. In particular, there are 26,110 people living with AIDS, while 1246 of them were diagnosed in 2016 (“Local data: Miami (Miami-Dade County)”, 2018). Today, the problem of AIDS is one of the most critical health concerns that require immediate action. The situation is complicated by the fact that often people suffering from this disease have a low social status, a lack of money, inappropriate lifestyles, as well as drug and alcohol abuse.

It was considered that homosexual people compose the main risk group; however, heterosexual ones have also critical rates of morbidity and mortality. Speaking of the ethnic differences, Hispanics and African Americans are at a higher risk – statistics show that 33.4% of ill people are African Americans, 56.0% are Hispanic / Latin, and only 9.5% are White (“Local data: Miami (Miami-Dade County)”, 2018). Often, this leads to discrimination and predisposition as people tend to state that those who have AIDS are “bad” (Dale et al., 2016). A similar fact should be noted about homosexual persons who are also prone to sexual discrimination and abuse from their heterosexual colleagues or public opinion.

Healthy People 2020 plan poses several goals related to AIDS identification and management. First of all, it is emphasized that early diagnosis should be targeted as a way to reduce mortality rates. Second, AIDS education is proposed to increase awareness among the populations. This support and counseling are expected to assist patients in addressing their questions and concerns regarding the disease. The Florida Department of Health also adopts the mentioned goals and contributes to the optimization of prevention and treatment accompanied by the strategies to eliminate discrimination against people with AIDS.

Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis is a chronic infectious disease caused by mycobacteria and characterized by different phases of the course. Patients with tuberculosis of the lungs when coughing, sneezing, and talking, isolate the pathogen into the environment as a part of the smallest drops. The outcome of the disease depends on the level of individual resistance of the body and the social environment in which a patient lives. In Miami, there are 0.7 cases of tuberculosis per 100,000 population. The report by the Conduent Healthy Communities Institute shows that tuberculosis morbidity tends to decrease within the last several years. For example, while the incidence was 6.2 in 2011, it was 4.7 in 2015 (“Tuberculosis incidence rates,” 2017). These statistics prove that there is a need to maintain such low incidence rates and try to minimize them.

Speaking of the impact of tuberculosis on the population, it is important to note that there is no link with a certain ethnicity or age. The paramount goal identified by Healthy People 2020 is to minimize the occurrence of tuberculosis. Consistent with this initiative, Miami implements the Florida System of Tuberculosis Care that implies the introduction of coordinated care based on the collaboration of several specialists such as physicians, nurses, pulmonologists, and so on. The provision of technical assistance and training to patients also ensures that the rates of tuberculosis are likely to be low in a long-term period. Thus, tuberculosis in Miami is not a serious health concern, even though it still should be closely monitored and reported to the state’s health department to avoid epidemics.

References

Dale, S. K., Bogart, L. M., Galvan, F. H., Wagner, G. J., Pantalone, D. W., & Klein, D. J. (2016). Discrimination and hate crimes in the context of neighborhood poverty and stressors among HIV-positive African-American men who have sex with men. Journal of Community Health, 41(3), 574-583.

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