Policy and State Boards of Nursing
April 25, 2018
April 25, 2018

Investigating Pandemics and Epidemics

Some of the most notable epidemics include the bubonic plague in the 14th century, smallpox in the 18th century, and influenza in the 20th century. Reportedly, the bubonic plague caused over 137 million deaths, whereas the death toll associated with influenza was 25 million (Ernst, 2001). These are dramatic examples of the kinds of acute outbreaks that led to the practice of epidemiology.

Many epidemiologists and health care professionals are concerned about the next potential pandemic or epidemic. With the increased mobility of society, the spread of infectious diseases continues to pose a serious threat. For this Discussion, you will investigate pandemics and epidemics using epidemiological tools, and you will consider strategies for mitigating disease outbreaks.

To prepare:

Using the Learning Resources, consider examples of emerging or reemerging infectious diseases that are occurring locally, nationally, or abroad. Then, select one example on which to focus.
Explore the epidemiological investigative process used to identify the emerging or reemerging infectious disease or outbreak.
Examine your selected infectious disease using the epidemiologic triangle and vector theory.
Consider how health care interventions may reduce the emergence or reemergence of infectious diseases.
By tomorrow 04/25/2018 12pm, write a minimum of 550 words in APA format with at least 3 scholarly references from the list of required readings below. Include the level one headings as numbered below”

Post a cohesive response that addresses the following:

1) Identify the emerging or reemerging infectious disease you selected.

2) Discuss the investigative process used to identify the outbreak, and describe its effect using descriptive epidemiology (person, place, and time).

3) Apply the epidemiologic triangle and vector theory to your selected outbreak.

4) Evaluate how prior health care interventions, or lack thereof, created the conditions that allowed this infectious disease to emerge.

5) Discuss how the disease outbreak might have been avoided or mitigated. Include agencies, organizations, and resources that could have supported these efforts. If appropriate, consider ongoing efforts to control the outbreak.

Required Readings

Friis, R. H., & Sellers, T. A. (2014). Epidemiology for public health practice (5th ed.). Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett.

Chapter 12, “Epidemiology of Infectious Diseases”

In this chapter, the authors examine the epidemiology of infectious diseases, one of the most familiar applications of epidemiology.

Martin, T. W., Stevens, L., & Miller, J. W. (2011). Rare germ drives outbreak. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303745304576360780812512492?mod=djemHL_t&mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303745304576360780812512492.html%3Fmod%3DdjemHL_t

In news coverage of a deadly outbreak, the authors note unusual aspects of the situation, as well as the economic, political, and personal ramifications.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). CDC says “Take 3” actions to fight the flu. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm

This page contains the CDC’s most up-to-date recommendations regarding the prevention of seasonal flu. In addition to this page, you may wish to explore the CDC’s Seasonal Influenza home page, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/

World Health Organization. (2012). Disease outbreak news. Retrieved from http://www.who.int/csr/don/en/

The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information on the most recent disease outbreaks around the world. Stay up to date by visiting this site.

HealthMap. (2007). Retrieved from http://www.healthmap.org/en

Explore this interactive map that lists disease outbreaks around the world.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Morbidity and mortality weekly report: Summary of notifiable diseases. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/mmwr_nd/index.html

Review the most current report on infectious diseases as reported by health care providers to state or local authorities. According to the CDC, “A disease is designated as notifiable if timely information about individual cases is considered necessary for prevention and control of the disease.” This report highlights infectious diseases reported in 2009.

Required Media

Laureate Education (Producer). (2012). Epidemiology and population health: Infectious disease: Two case studies [Video file]. Baltimore, MD: Author.

Note: The approximate length of this media piece is 8 minutes.

In this week’s program, the presenters discuss HIV and AIDS.


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