This paper will discuss the communicable disease influenza. It will discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatments, as well as the demographics of interest. It will also discuss the determinants of health and how these factors contribute to the development of influenza. Included in this paper will be information on host, agent, and environmental factors. Lastly it will explain the role of the community health nurse in caring for those affected with influenza and the role they play in education and prevention. Description of Influenza
Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus that infects the nose, throat, and lungs (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). It can cause mild to severe illness, sometimes even death. The flu is different from the common cold. Symptoms of the flu usually have a rapid onset. These symptoms include: fever, chills, cough, sore throat, body aches, and fatigue. Influenza is transmitted mainly by droplets when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets become airborne and can land in people’s mouth or nose and get inhaled into the lungs. Experts believe the flu can be spread by these droplets to others up to 6 feet away (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). There is also some talk that the flu can be transmitted from surfaces. People touch the infected surfaces, then touch their own mouth or nose, even eyes, and get infected with the virus. This mode of transmission, however, occurs less often. Once affected by influenza, people can suffer varying degrees of complications. Most people will recover in a few days, or worst case scenario, is less than 2 weeks. However, some people may suffer more serious complications, like pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2014). No one is immune to the flu, anyone can get it, even healthy people. People 65 and older, those with...
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