Epidemiology

Topics: Chickenpox, Herpes zoster, Varicella zoster virus Pages: 5 (1565 words) Published: August 16, 2014

Grand Canyon University: NRS-427V-0103
Concepts in Community and Public Health
06/15/2014

Florence Nightingale, a name most people know even if you aren’t a nurse, pioneered or ‘paved’ many of the ways of how we nurse today. She gathered her data and organized it in such a way to improve hospital conditions, and saved many lives, through pie charts, graphs and statistics. The data was proof that mortality rates were down, and sanitary conditions were improved in hospitals. In focusing on these trends, Florence Nightingale opened up the way for the populations in nursing and saved and improved many lives. Epidemiologic concepts are used to understand and explain how and why health and illness occur as they do in human populations. Florence Nightingale pioneered those statistics needed in epidemiology to learn over the human populations, differing from one client and their family.

Communicable diseases are an important trend to follow in the populations. Once thought, eradicated diseases through immunizations, like polio, may be on its way back in to the US. Varicella, or Chickenpox, is an acute communicable disease caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV). According to the CDC, Primary varicella infection was not reliably distinguished from smallpox until the end of the 19th century. “In 1875, it was demonstrated that the chickenpox was caused by an infectious agent by inoculating volunteers with the vesicular fluid from a patient with acute varicella. Clinical observations of the relationship between varicella and herpes zoster were made in 1888 by von Bokay, when children without evidence of varicella immunity acquired varicella after contact with herpes zoster. VZV was isolated from vesicular fluid of both chickenpox and zoster lesions in cell culture by Thomas Weller in 1954. Subsequent lab studies of the virus led to the development of a live attenuated varicella vaccine in Japan in the 1970’s. The vaccine was licensed for use in the US in March 1995.” (CDC, May 2012).

VZV is spread through the respiratory tract and conjunctiva. It’s believed to thrive at the site of entry for about 4 to 6 days after infection, then likes to travel on to other organs like the liver, spleen, and sensory ganglia. “Further replication occurs in the viscera, followed by a secondary viremia, with viral infection of the skin. Virus can be cultured from mononuclear cells of an infected person from 5 days before to 1 or 2 days after the appearance of the rash.” (CDC, May, 2012). The virus incubates for 14 to 16 days after exposure, with a range of about 10 to 21 days. In the immunocompromised patients, the incubation periods may be longer. When the pesky little rash is ready to present itself, adults may have a couple of days of aches, pains, and fever before the presentation. The rash itches like the devil and progresses rapidly from macules to papules to vesicular lesions before they will crust over. It will usually appear first on the head, then trunk, and on to the extremities. Most of the lesions will be concentrated on the trunk of the body and present in several stages of the healing process. They usually measure 1-4mm in diameter and healthy kids can have as many as 200-500 lesions in succession. Kids usually have a little malaise, low grade fever, and scratch like the dickens, for what the CDC says for 2-3 days. Has it been that long that anyone has really been around a kid with a good case of chickenpox? The itching aspect is the last to go. “What Should You Do If Your Kid Develops The Chicken Pox? A Chicken Pox Survival Guide: “Some children have such a mild case that you don’t have to do anything,” says William Meyers, M.D., a Pediatrician with the Pediatric Group of New Rochelle, in New York. For others, a little TLC is in order. Look at what’s bothering your child and make him as comfortable as possible,” advises Meyers, here are some other tips: Give your child a daily...

References: Centers for Disease Control Epidemiology and Prevention of Vaccine Preventable Diseases. The
Pink Book: Course Textbook-12th Ed Second Printing (May 2012) Accessed
06/15/2014 www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/default.htm
Clark County, Washington Public Health Healthcare Worker Immunizations, Retrieved
06/15/2014 from URL: http://www.clark.wa.gov/
Kump, T. Chicken Pox Survival Guide Parents (10836373) [serial online] May1994; 69(5)29-31
Available from CINAHL Complete, Ipswich, MA. Accessed 6-15-2014.
Maurer and Smith. Community/Public Health Nursing Practice: Health for Families and
Populations. 4th Edition. W.B. Saunders Company, 2009. VitalBookfile. Pageburst online
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