Post 2022

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Parasitic Disease

Parasitic diseases can be classified into three classes: protozoa, helminths, and ectoparasites (CDC, 2020). A common parasitic disease is human scabies, which falls under ectoparasites. A major challenge in the prevention of scabies, is the fact that symptoms typically take 4-8 weeks to develop after being infested, thus an infected person can infect others without even having symptoms (CDC, 2018). With this being said, scabies remains to be a risk to public health. Scabies is highly contagious, passed through person to person contact and globally prevalent (Cheng et al, 2020). Based on how widespread and contagious scabies is, it is crucial to prevent the spread as soon as possible. To overcome this challenge, Cheng et al. (2020) explains two examples that are being addressed, which include 1. identifying potential cases promptly to avoid transmission amongst the community and 2. using a 3I (identify, isolate, and inform) tool to help assist frontline providers in the identification and management of scabies. Furthermore, Cheng et al. (2020) mentions that with the use of the 3I tool, health care providers can readily identify risk factors for exposure and important symptoms of scabies, limit its spread with scabicide therapy, isolate the patient until after treatment, and inform local public health authorities and hospital infection prevention when needed. By identifying cases sooner, we can help prevent others from being infected.

Infectious Disease

Like parasitic diseases, infectious diseases also give rise to challenges. The challenges to Human papillomavirus (HPV) cause concern because HPV is the most common sexually transmitted disease (NFID, 2021). NFID (2021) discusses the seriousness of HPV by stating that 80% of sexually active individuals are infected with HPV at some point in their lives. It is important to note, that most new cases of HPV occur in teens and individuals in their early 20s (NFID, 2021). A major challenge is the prevention of HPV. Currently, with HPV, most individuals show no symptoms, may never know they have the virus, some HPV infections may not go away and can lead to cancer, and virus may be spread by those that are unaware that they are infected (NFID, 2021). Two examples in which this challenge is being addressed in public health practice is 1. Vaccinating teens for HPV and 2. Educating individuals on practicing safe sex. NFID (2021) mentions that the CDC recommends 11 to 12 year-olds get two doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV. In addition to getting vaccinated, abstinence and/or safe sex is also encouraged. Planned Parenthood (n.d.) states the best way to avoid HPV is to get the HPV vaccines and refrain from sex. However, if sex is part of an individual’s routine, using safe sex practice are recommended. Those practices include using a condom and/ or dental dams every time one encounters vaginal, anal, or oral sex (Planned Parenthood, n.d.).

Antibiotic Resistant Situation

Lastly, it is important to discuss the challenge of control that comes with antibiotic resistant situations. For example, Better Health (n.d.) describes Neisseria gonorrhoeae as the bacteria that causes gonorrhea and is currently almost always resistant to benzyl penicillin (an antibiotic that was once used to control the infection). Once a bacteria becomes resistant to antibiotics, the bacteria is able to thrive and multiple causing a major public health concern (Better Health, n.d.). To face this challenge, infection control in hospitals is currently taking place in several ways. Better Health (n.d.) explains four ways that antibiotic resistant situations are being controlled, such as, 1. Proper hand washing techniques, to be completed before and after patients, 2. Use of proper personal protective equipment, 3. Appropriate handling of needles and waste, and 4. Use of sterile techniques. Better Health (n.d.) goes on to say that these basic work practices provide a level of infection control for the patients and staff within the hospital or facility setting. It is important for each individual to follow guidelines, because without following techniques correctly can mean a rapid spread of diseases that are hard to control.