Epidemics essay


The USA has experienced a set ofpandemics that have shaken its residents and the world. Some of themost common pandemics include Yellow Fever, Cholera, Smallpox,Typhus, Influenza, Measles, HIV AIDS, Swine Flu, Avian (Bird) Flu andEbola (MMWR, 2015).The city of Detroit, like other U.Scities, experiences a seasonal flu period that lasts from October toApril. Flu is a highly an airborne disease that spreads from peoplewithin a range of six feet. The flu virus lasts in the atmospherefor a period of ten minutes after an infected person talks, sneezesor coughs. People contract the disease after inhaling or touching thevirus on an object and then touching their nose or mouth. In the year2015, Detroit recorded 5,700 cases of the disease. Hundreds ofpatients crammed into emergency rooms and doctors’ offices to seekrelief from vomiting, coughing, diarrhea, body aches and sneezing.Majority of the patients were children between the ages of eightmonths and the elderly beyond 65 years. Common symptoms of fluinclude a sore throat, runny nose, fever, muscle aches, cough, chillsand sneezing (MMWR, 2015).As a precaution, the governmentinitiates vaccination programs before the flu period. The vaccinestake a maximum period of two weeks before they are fully effective.Families are also encouraged to wash their hands using soap or adisinfectant. Due to the mutation of the virus from one year to theother, the Detroit Medical Centre conducts research to identify theexact virus behind the outbreak. The identification of the virusenhances the development of a vaccine (MMWR, 2015). The second most commonoutbreak is measles. Measles is a highly infectious disease, and itis a leading cause of death among young children even though there isa cost effective vaccine. The disease spreads through sneezes andcoughs of infected patients. It also spreads through contact withbodily fluids or secretions. A majority, ninety percent of uninfectedindividuals, contract the disease by sharing living space with aninfected patient (Kurata,2014). The first symptoms of the diseaseinclude a high fever that begins about 9 to 14 days after a person isexposed to the virus and lasts 3 to 8 days. At the initial stages,the patient’s eyes become red and watery, he or she develops arunny nose and a cough. Besides, patients start developing smallwhite spots in their mouth commonly known as koplik’s spots. Afterseveral days, a rash erupts on the patient’s upper neck and face.The rash spreads to the rest of the body including the hands and feetwithin three days. Deaths occur due to measles related complicationssuch as blindness, encephalitis, severe diarrhea and respiratoryinfections (Kurata,2014).In the year 2015, there were 118cases of measles in the USA- California. A single case occurred inMetro Detroit’s Oakland County. Given the high rate of spreadassociated with the disease, there is a high possibility to affectDetroit citizens (Kurata,2014).The best prevention against measlesis vaccination for children within the age bracket of 12 to 15months. Due to the high number of unvaccinated people in the UnitedStates, travellers must obtain vaccination before heading to and fromareas with a high prevalence of the disease. Although second timeimmunizations do not serve as a booster to the resistance of thedisease, it helps to provide immunity for non-responders. Second-timeimmunizations results to 99% protection against contracting measles(Kurata,2014).An additional strategy forcontrolling the proliferation of the disease is maintaining personalhygiene. The authority, through media, informs unaffected people toavoid places with a high prevalence of the disease and to wash theirhands regularly. Besides, they are advised to avoid sharing drinks,foods or utensils (Kurata,2014).References

Kurata, T. (2014). Measlesvaccines. ReactionsWeekly,&nbsp1500(1),26-26. doi:10.1007/s40278-014-0669-0

Morbidity and Mortality WeeklyReport (MMWR), (2015).Early Estimates of Seasonal Influenza VaccineEffectiveness — United States, 16 January 2015. Centerfor Disease Control and Prevention.Web. Retrieved fromhttp://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6401a4.htm