HCS/457- Public and Community Health
November 26, 2012
Communicable disease is defined as an infectious disease transmissible (as from person to person) by direct contact with an affected individual or the individual’s discharge or by indirect means (Merriam Webster, m-w.com). A communicable disease can be transmitted through fluid exchange or by a vector. Hepatitis B is a known communicable disease still affecting the United States and worldwide. Hepatitis B is a viral infection that caused liver damaged from the Hepatitis B virus HBV), inflammation of the liver. In the first stages of HBV usually within the first six months a person becomes infected calling it acute Hepatitis B infection. HBV can feel like having the flu or no signs of symptoms in which it could go away on its own in a few months. If it doesn’t it is called chronic HBV, which then last a lifetime. Chronic HBV can lead to liver scarring, liver cancer and liver failure. Hepatitis B virus is found in the blood of people with HBV infection, it transmits through the body by blood-to-blood contact. This paper will describe Hepatitis B, the efforts being made to control it, provide data evidence, resource for treatment options, how it influence the lifestyles and socioeconomic status, and further prevention recommendations such as immunizations, Heath Care Act which provide everyone with insurance to be treated, and education.
Hepatitis B has similarities to the HIV virus as modes of transmission, although is 100 times more infectious. Both diseases are exposed through blood-to-blood contact from infected blood or products, and from mothers giving birth to infants. People can also get HBV by sharing needles for injection of drug use, accidental needle stick with a contaminated needle, tattooing equipment and sexual contact. HBV can spread through casual contact and become life threatening. HBV symptoms range from bare minimal in early stages, to jaundice, abdominal pain, nausea, fever and malaise in the acute phase. Fatigue, appetite los, dark urine, itching and pale stools are other symptoms. HBV usually has a few symptoms after the initial infections. Worldwide Hepatitis B has infected two billion people stating to be one out of three people. Approximately 400 millions are chronically infected and an estimated amount of 1 million people die each year from Hepatitis B and its complications, that is about two people per minute that dies from Hepatitis B. In the United States 12 million Americans have been infected stating to be one out of 20 people, more than one million have it chronically and 100,00 will become infected each year. 5,000 people die from it each year and approximately one health care worker dies each day from Hepatitis B, (Hepatitis B Foundation). In the city of Las Vegas the Southern Nevada Health District states that 19 cases per 100,000 have been reports up to the end of October 2012. There are approximately two million people in Las Vegas, indicating the 380 people have been infected in 2012 as of October 2012. There is a three shot series to help protect yourself and loved ones against hepatitis B. The first injection is given at any time the vaccine is preferred to start at infant ages. The second injection is one month following the first injection and the three injections is six month following the first injection. The first Hepatitis B was approved by Food and Drug Administration in 1981, then discontinued in 1990 and no longer used in the U.S. The ones currently use has been available since 1986. If infected by chronic HBV and immunization is not an option, treatment plans are available, first by taking antiviral medication to fight the virus and slow down the process of damaging the liver. If the liver is damaged beyond repair and transplant could be an option.
The United States offers several types of resources to help education and treat patient with...