Today, communicable diseases are very dangerous for modern people because these diseases can be spread in different countries due to globalization and mobility of human populations. The recent researches have shown that many of communicable diseases are challenging for community health specialists and require form them urgent and effective measures in order to control them. Influenza is considered one of the most dangerous communicable diseases. An influenza outbreak of 2009 showed was one of the most serious and severe pandemics that was spread in different countries including the USA. For this reason, it is important to provide general information about influenza, analyze the influenza outbreak of 2009, and discuss the strategies that may help prevent and control the influenza outbreak.
It should be mentioned that there are different types of influenza viruses that are dangerous to humans. The influenza outbreak of 2009 was caused by the influenza A (H1N1) virus that was spread among pigs, birds, and humans (H. Li & N. Li, 2013). According to Abramson (2011), “The 2009 pandemic influenza virus, designated by the term “2009 H1N1 virus”, is a quadruple reassortant virus containing genetic material from birds, pigs and humans” (p. 5). The influenza outbreak of 2009 was pandemic and involved practically most countries in the world (Abramson, 2011). The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that the first case of H1N1 influenza virus was registered in Veracruz, Mexico, on March, 2009 (Abramson, 2011). By early April, 2009, this virus had spread across the southern states of the USA, and later involved all American states (Abramson, 2011). By August, 2009, the H1N1 virus had spread across the majority of countries in the world on different continents (Relman, Choffnes, & Mack, 2010). By late November, the WHO achieved success in the struggle with this dangerous virus, and on 10 August, 2010, the end of H1N1 pandemic was announced by the WHO (Abramson, 2011).
Further, it is necessary to discuss the epidemiological determinants of the H1N1 outbreak in order to understand this communicable disease better. Mobility of population was one of the most determinant factors that caused the pandemic. The virus was first diagnosed in Mexico. The Mexican government was not able to deal with the increased number of patients infected with this virus and prevent the spread of this virus (Abramson, 2011). For this reason, the virus began to spread across the USA and other countries. Low rates of vaccination against the influenza in the world was another determinant factor of this pandemic. This virus is usually spread through exhaled droplets and aerosol (H. Li & N. Li, 2013). Hongjun Li and Ning Li stated that “Influenza A (H1N1) can also be spread via direct or indirect contacts of oral mucous membrane, nasal mucous membrane, eyes mucous membrane (p. 10). This virus was spread among all ages groups of population, but young adults were more predisposed to this communicable disease (H. Li & N. Li, 2013). Pregnant women and senior adults referred to high-risk groups (H. Li & N. Li, 2013). Contacts with infected people increase the possibility to be infected with the H1N1 virus. For this reason, it was important to isolate infected patients and prevent people from visiting places of a mass congestion of people.
Additionally, it is important to discuss in what way the influenza outbreak would have affected my community at a systems level if an outbreak had occurred in it. In fact, an outbreak of the influenza may cause serious problems and interfere the functioning of schools. The influenza outbreak is able to force the government to close schools in order to prevent the further spread of disease. Every outbreak is associated with the increased number of infected individuals, forces parents to care for sick children, and causes both school and employee absenteeism. Therefore, local business would face the problem of absenteeism in the workplace (Arias, 2010). Local government would be forced to implement effective measures in order to overcome this outbreak. Additionally, it would be required from local government to spend more financial resources in the field of health care. Further, community health care system would be also affected due to the outbreak. The influenza outbreak would increase the number of patients and force community health care to work in the emergency mode.
Moreover, it is important to discuss in what way the reporting protocols should be developed during the influenza outbreak and briefly overview the most effective strategies that should be implemented to struggle with this dangerous communicable disease. The reporting protocol is an effective measure that provides guidelines on dealing with influenza and helps understand the level of preparedness for the outbreak (Arias, 2010). Local Health Department should gather necessary information about the influenza cases in certain community (including the laboratory results) and prepare a weekly influenza surveillance report for the Washington State Health Department. It would help to analyze the data about influenza and the rates of infection on the national level, and provide health care workers with further guidelines. In fact, it is essential for community health specialists implement effective strategies that may help prevent the influenza outbreak. Community education strategy is one of the most effective prevention strategies because it informs population about preventive actions that may help people not to be infected with influenza. Every particular individual should be informed about the dangers of disease, the ways of the influenza transmission, and simple rules that should followed in order to avoid infection (Abramson, 2011). Mass vaccination influenza is another important strategy that should be used in order to protect population. It is important to vaccinate more people in order to develop their immunity to certain type of influenza. It is very important to determine the risks of the influenza outbreak, identify the type of the virus that threatens community, and choose the proper vaccine against certain type of influenza virus.
In conclusion, it should be stated that communicable diseases are challenging for modern community health specialists because they are associated with many factors that might cause their spread in different countries. There should be implemented effective prevention strategies that can help control the outbreak of communicable diseases and decrease the rates of infection. The influenza outbreak of 2009 that was caused by the H1N1 virus was one of the most severe outbreaks spread in the majority of countries in the world. This outbreak required from health care organizations to make many efforts in order to overcome this communicable disease. It is important for community health specialists to implement effective prevention strategies and educate population in order to control dangerous communicable disease and avoid the spread of influenza.
Abramson, J. (2011). Inside the 2009 influenza pandemic. Hackensack, NJ: World Scientific.
Arias, K. (2010). Quick reference to outbreak investigation and control in health care facilities. Gaithersburg, MD: Aspen Publishers.
Li, H., & Li, N. (2013). Radiology of influenza A (H1N1). New York, NY: Springer.
Relman, D., Choffnes, E., & Mack, A. (2010). The domestic and international impacts of the 2009-H1N1 influenza pandemic: Global challenges, global solutions. Washington, DC: The National Academy Press.