CLINICAL EPIDEMIOLOGY AND DECISION MAKING CASE STUDY
Formulate a plan on how you would use clinical epidemiology to guide your opinions and actions on dealing with this issue. Plan:
Contact Department of Environmental Protection to see what type of mold we are dealing with. I need to estimate how many people are involved
How many personal house and commercial building.
Assess how many people will need medical attention, so I will know how many medical staff to have available. Once I have all those things in place; I can give my opinion and what type of action need to be taken to prevent as many people as I can from health injuries pertaining to mold.
Propose three types of molds that could develop from flood damage and the associated health risks with each type of mold. Different types of mold - black mold, toxic mold, allergenic mold - are present all the time around us
and in the air we breathe. In low levels, molds and mold spores are generally harmless but if their
levels increase they can affect people; especially people with allergies, asthma and respiratory
conditions or suppressed immune system.
Allergenic mold and mold spores are normally not dangerous to humans in low amounts, but they
cause allergic or asthmatic symptoms. Generally, these types of mold can be relatively easy and safely
cleaned and removed. Note that even dead mold spores or mold particles can trigger allergy symptoms
or allergic reactions.
Mycotoxic mold and mold spores are those containing toxins in the cell wall. These types of mold can
cause serious health problems in humans and animals. These molds range from short-term irritation to
immunosuppression, to cancer and even death. If toxic molds are identified, it is suggested that you
seek advice from an Industrial Hygienist or other mold professional for guidance. The average
homeowner should NOT attempt the abatement of these types of mold.
Pathogenic mold is the type of mold that causes infections. Pathogenic molds can cause serious health
effects in persons with suppressed immune systems, those taking chemotherapy, and those with
HIV/AIDS, or autoimmunity disorders. If any pathogenic molds are identified, it is suggested that you
seek advice from an Industrial Hygienist or other mold professional. The average homeowner should
NOT attempt the abatement of this type of molds.
Hyphae & hyphal elements are single, unidentifiable fragments of mold. Although they might not be
traceable to a specific mold species, these fragments can be responsible for allergic reactions in some
people and may indicate previous or current growth. Ascospores and basidiospores are clusters of
spores that may not be easily identified as a specific species, but may represent a mold problem in the
What is black mold?
Black mold or toxic mold has been associated with the mold Stachybotrys Chartarum, a type of greenish-black fungus that is found throughout the world and typically wet and slimy to the touch; mold commonly associated with heavy water damage (American Industrial Hygiene Association).
There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 15 different species that grow in surrounding where the humidity exceeds 50% . Stachybotrys Chartarum thrives on materials high in cellulose and low in nitrogen content. Examples include wet leaves, straw, carpet, wallpaper, thermal insulation, fiberboard, dry wall, gypsum board, paper, dust, and hay.
The health effects of Stachybotrys Chartarum are Agricultural and farm workers who handled moist, wet hay experienced symptoms not unlike those that were affecting nearby animals. Individuals who ate grain from the contaminated hay experienced symptoms such as burning sensations in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain....
S.T. Fleming, Managerial Epidemiology Concepts and Cases, 2nd edition, 2008
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