Foundations of Nursing Study Set 1
Quiz 26 :
Infectious Disease Prevention and Control
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Infectious diseases are those diseases that can be transmitted from one person to another through physical contact, sneeze droplets and by other methods. Infectious diseases have been a major source of concern for decades causing significant morbidity and mortality across the globe. In past few years many other problems arose. Some of the effects of infectious diseases are as follows: 1. Several new diseases emerged with previously unknown etiology. Some of them are severe acute respiratory disease syndrome (SARS), acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS), bird flu and others. 2. They have become the reason of death of many people round the globe. 3. There are many diseases, whose treatment is still under research. The major threat to the society is that the diseases are now antibiotic resistant. Bacteria developed resistance to antibiotics which were previously effective in eliminating them. The emergence of Vancomycin resistance in methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is an example of development of resistance. The rapid travel rate by air in modern world has also ensured that several communicable diseases can spread across the globe even before they are detected in affected individuals. One such example is the spread of Ebola virus.
Epidemiologic triangle is a model that deals with the causation of infectious diseases. It consists of the infectious agent, the host and environment. Interactions between these three phases of triangle decide disease transmission. For example, administration of antibiotics for a bacterial infection is expected to relieve the affected individual from infection. However, during this course, the antibiotic also kills other resident flora that may be beneficial to the host. This in turn leads to the sudden increase in yeast population causing secondary opportunistic infection. An infectious agent may be a bacteria, virus, fungi or parasite. They are defined by their infectivity, toxicity, anti-genicity, invasiveness, virulence and pathogenicity. The host also plays a very important role. The resistance of the host decides whether the individual will succumb to the infection. Herd immunity is an important factor in this respect. Since, greater the numbers of vaccinated individuals in a community lesser are the chances of spreading of a specific disease. The host reaction may also be modified by active and passive immunity mainly through the administration of vaccines and passage of antibodies from mother to child.