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• Why Is It Important for Public Health to Stay Focused on Infectious Disease When Chronic Disease Has Become More Prevalent in Many Countries.

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  • November 12, 2012
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Why is it important for public health to stay focused on infectious disease when chronic disease has become more prevalent in many countries, According to Schneider (2011), infectious diseases were the main sources of death throughout history till the 20th century when the major cause of death in many countries has been chronic diseases.

It is very important for public health to stay focused on infectious diseases firstly because most diseases which are considered chronic today are preventable and avoidable before they become chronic. Cardiovascular diseases: heart disease and stroke are preventable especially because public health has established measures to reduce risk factors associated with theses diseases like the healthy people 2010 initiatives/goals, (Healthy people 2010). Not saying that infectious diseases are not preventable, because public health also has measures to reduce infectious diseases like immunization, purification of water (Schneider, 2011), but the spread of infectious diseases is very rapid and it takes a longer time for scientist to isolate the pathogen and break the chain of infection, when the disease is killing people before measures are put in place to prevent the diseases but it is not the case with chronic diseases.

Secondly it is important to stay focused on infectious diseases because some infectious agents cause some long term chronic diseases which are preventable. Halpin et al (2010) states that “Increasingly infectious agents in form of bacteria and viruses are associated with the development of chronic diseases”. She goes on to cite examples like HPV causing cervical cancer and Hepatitis B causing chronic liver disease (Halpin et al., 2010, p.142). If many people are vaccinated against these diseases, many people will not have the chronic long term diseases.

Lastly it is cost effective to treat infectious diseases than chronic diseases. With chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, it is...