The Epidemiology of Tuberculosis

Topics: Tuberculosis, Public health, Infectious disease, Medicine, Immune system / Pages: 7 (1568 words) / Published: Mar 15th, 2014
The purpose of this paper is to discuss tuberculosis (TB), provide a clinical description, and discuss the determinants of health in relation to TB and the role and tasks of the community health nurse in regards to the disease. Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, a bacterium that usually affects the victim’s lungs and is spread through the air. TB spreads from one community or country to another as people travel or through immigration to new areas. Today’s modern world of travel makes health and healthcare a global issue. Although TB rates are decreasing in the United States, the disease is becoming more common in many parts of the world. In addition, the prevalence of drug-resistant TB is increasing worldwide. (Herchline, 2013) Persons can become infected by inhaling the TB germs when someone else sneezes, coughs or even spits. Once infected with the germ, there is a 10% chance of the TB becoming active causing illness. Persons with active TB will have symptoms like a cough with possible sputum or blood, fever, chest pains, weakness, night sweats and weight loss. These symptoms can be mild for months which often delays treatment and results in exposure to others. Persons with compromised immune systems have a greater chance of the TB becoming active and causing illness. Tuberculosis can be cured with treatment and can be prevented as well. Places where humans are in close contact are the most high risk areas. Slums, prisons and jails, or even hospitals are examples of high risk environments. Persons who live with or interact with someone who has active TB, those who live in nursing homes or homeless shelters, immigrants from countries with high TB incidence rates, alcoholics and intravenous drug users, Persons with HIV or AIDs and persons who come into contact with high risk groups are more at risk for TB. The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that tuberculosis (TB) deaths are second only to (HIV) and


References: CSDH. Closing the Gap in a Generation: Health Equity through Action on the social Determinants of Health. Geneve: World Health Organization. 2008 Retrieved from http://whqlibdoc.who.int/publications/2008/9789241563703_eng.pdf Herchline, T. E., MD. (2013) Tuberculosis Practice Essentials. Medscape Retrieved from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/230802-overview Smith, Maurer and. Community/Public Health Nursing Practice, 5th Edition. Saunders, 2013. Smith, Maurer and. Community/Public Health Nursing Practice, 5th Edition. Saunders, 2013. . Social Determinants of Health. 2013. Healthy People.gov. Retrieved from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topicsobjectives2020/overview.aspx?topicid=39 Stop TB Partnership. 2013. Retrieved from http://www.stoptb.org/about/ WHO. 2013. Tuberculosis (Fact sheet N 104) Retrieved from http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs104/en/

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