A communicable disease is a disease that is transmitted through direct contact with an infected individual or indirectly through a vector. It is also called a contagious disease (Communicable Disease , 2010). Communicable diseases can be spread very easy and they can range anywhere from a cold to anthrax. I will be discussing the communicable disease chlamydia and how it affects the person as well as everything around them. Awareness about communicable disease is going to be the biggest way to prevent many of them we have existing now.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), chlamydia is a very common sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis (Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), 2010). This dangerous disease can damage a woman’s reproductive system and can ultimately lead to pelvic inflammatory disease or even infertility. The symptoms that chlamydia present is usually not noticed right away because they are rather vague and in some cases there are no symptoms. The damage that may come from chlamydia is irreversible and cannot be corrected. For men that are infected with this disease, it features a discharge from their penis. In 2008, 1,210,523 infections were reported to CDC from fifty states and the District of Columbia (Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), 2010). This makes chlamydia the most recurrent sexually transmitted disease in the United States. The ages people are infected with this disease can be anywhere from fourteen years of age all the way up to thirty nine years old. Women seem to get the infections more being sexual partners are not tested and treated for the disease. This can make for more complications for the female reproductive system (Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), 2010). There are many different efforts use to control chlamydia. Being this disease can be known as the “silent” disease, symptoms are very rare. Testing is one way to guarantee whether or not the disease is there and to gain treatment for it. Condoms are other ways used to control this disease. With more advertisements from condom companies, it does put out awareness on what they are used for besides protection against unplanned pregnancies. The CDC recommends yearly testing for chlamydia for all sexually active woman age twenty five years of age or older, older women with risk factors for chlamydial infections, and all pregnant women (How can chlamydia be prevented?, 2010).
In 1989, the United States Preventive Services Task Force recommended routine chlamydia screening for sexually active young women. The CDC investigated data information reported by commercial and Medicaid health plans to the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set during 2000-2007. The annual screening had an increase from 25.3 percent in 2000 to 43.6 percent in 2006 (Chlamydia Screening Among Sexually Active Young Female Enrollees of Health Plans --- United States, 2000--2007 , 2009 ). However these numbers did decrease just a little but in 2007 to 41.6 percent. From 2000-2007, the screening rates generally increase among women who were involved in sexual activity between the ages of sixteen and twenty five years old. It seems as the more screenings that were actually done caused for a decrease in the number of people that actually may have been affected by the disease. For one state in particular, Texas, they have something called Protocol- Based Counseling. It was constructed as a part of a CDC funded project to assess what it takes to make quality assured prevention counseling in the real world (Quality Assurance Standards, 2010). This is used to make sure they have some type of information to present to help prevent the disease from continuously spreading. The counseling session can include from introducing the client to the session all the way to negotiating a realistic and acceptable risk reduction step. This evidence based intervention seems to be very successful because the person knows what the severity of the disease may be as well as ask any questions they have in regards to prevention and how to get treated. Available Resources
Available resources to assist with treatment and care can be doctors to health departments. These facilities will aid in the help of testing to get a cure for the patient. In order for this disease to be treated, it must be diagnosed. Once it is diagnosed, treatment starts with antibiotics. Doxcycline and Zithromax are the most commonly used prescriptions for the disease. Whether it is a female or male, it is highly recommended they have their partner or partners tested and treated to avoid spreading the disease again. With proper regimen for the antibiotics, the disease should be gone within a week or two but it is crucially important all medication is taken. Retesting should occur after treatment to make sure the disease is gone. It is imperative that there is no sexual activity until both partners are cured (Chlamydia, 2005-2010). Environmental Factors
Environmental factors that can affect the spread of this disease can be simply where a person grew up or the morals and values that are instilled in them. Most areas with very unstable economies often have more social problems. Sexual activity within these areas are increased being the young women often feel that is what everyone is doing and they do not have the proper education on what can happen when sex goes unprotected. Awareness is rare and most people in poverty areas do not have access to health care so they will not visit the doctor because they cannot afford it. Health departments are not as aggressive as they should be when getting information out about things that affect the community and this can be another reason why the disease may run rapid. Influence
The influence of lifestyles and socioeconomic status can vary from place to place. In a very wealthy area, media would be a factor in the decisions an individual makes. Most television commercials, television shows, and movies always show the most passionate scenes but there is no education on what can happen if sexual activities to go on unprotected. Health care is something they have access to in those areas, however embarrassment seems to also be something that affects the lifestyle. In well known and profitable areas, there is shame of going to the doctor or health department and letting them know of an infection they may have. Although there is HIPAA most people don’t know about that type of restriction. In low poverty areas, there is no health care and awareness is something that is not mentioned much. Recommendations
I recommend there is more information put out in all places regardless of economic status. There should be commercials played nationally so the awareness about the disease is out there. Since the disease mostly occurs in young women, once a year, the local health department in a certain area should go to high schools and middle schools to make sure there is education about the disease. Some people have to be scared straight and if it takes a real person to tell their story or show some graphic pictures then that is what needs to be done.
In conclusion, communicable diseases are ones that can be spread via bodily fluids. Chlamydia is known as the “silent” disease and it has been proven it is more prevalent in young women but there was a slight decrease in the amount detected. Awareness is another way to help prevent the disease and treatment fortunately is something that can be provided for this disease. Communities have to help each other and the best way for that to happen is education and awareness.
Chlamydia. (2005-2010). Retrieved October 26, 2010, from WebMD: http://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/guide/chlamydia Chlamydia Screening Among Sexually Active Young Female Enrollees of Health Plans --- United States, 2000--2007 . (2009 ). Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report , 362-365. Communicable Disease . (2010). Retrieved October 26, 2010, from http://wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=communicable%20disease How can chlamydia be prevented? (2010, April 28). Retrieved October 26, 2010, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm Quality Assurance Standards. (2010, September 30). Retrieved October 26, 2010, from Texas Department of State Health Services: http://www.dshs.state.tx.us/hivstd/training/qastandards.shtm Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs). (2010, April 28). Retrieved October 26, 2010, from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention : http://www.cdc.gov/std/chlamydia/STDFact-Chlamydia.htm