Free «The West Nile Virus» Essay Sample

The West Nile Virus

This assignment is a discourse that seeks to deliberate on the issues regarding the West Nile Virus. It is a comprehensive summary of the article that elucidates the factors involving the Arboviral Diseases. The purpose of this paper is to understand the means of prevention and protection against this epidemic.

Article Summary

The article “West Nile Virus and Other Arboviral Diseases – United States, 2013” by Lindsey, Lehman, Staples, and Fischer gives comprehensive information on the Arthropod-borne viruses (arboviruses). It explains how the virus is transmitted from infected mosquitoes and infects humans through bites (Lindsey et al, 2013). It confirms that the West Nile virus (WNV) is the primary cause of locally acquired arboviral ailments in the United States. It is despite the fact that there are other arboviruses that cause intermittent cases and periodic neuroinvasive diseases such as meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis (Lindsey et al, 2013). Additionally, the report recapitulates the surveillance data reported to CDC in 2013. It addresses the information concerning the WNV and other internationally known arboviruses. In this light, the statement fortifies that forty-seven states and the District of Columbia reported 2,469 cases of WNV disease (Lindsey et al, 2013). Evidently, fifty one percent of the cases were labeled as WNV neuroinvasive infections (Lindsey et al, 2013). Clearly, the WNV is a predicament that continues to cause serious illness among considerable number of people annually. Therefore, it is necessary to ensure appropriate and timely surveillance to endorse prevention behavior.

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Conversely, the article highlights key issues regarding the causal agents, vulnerable people, and ecological factors. It stipulates that mosquitoes and birds are the major transmitters of the virus. Extreme exposure to mosquitoes carrying the WNV is a direct way of getting infected. Mosquitoes contract the virus from birds and other infected mammals and spread it to humans. Consequently, there is a need to ensure effective protection from mosquito bites. These insects are the most active during the night and therefore, there is a need to wear protective night gear. Areas with warm weather and stagnant water are perfect breeding zones for mosquitos. People in such environs are at risks of more infections. Hence, regional hordes and vector profusion also influence the levels of infection (Lindsey et al, 2013). On the other hand, the human behavior is a major determinant of susceptibility. Individuals who engage in more outdoor activities without using repellents are at a greater danger. Research indicates that the presence of air conditioners and screens at home can also influence the time and place, where the outbreaks frequently occur (Lindsey et al, 2013).

Interestingly, there is a great disparity between the age groups of the infected people. Individuals aged above fifty years are more susceptible to WNV (Lindsey et al, 2013). Individuals in this age bracket can easily develop the neuroinvasive WNV including such diseases as the meningitis, encephalitis, and poliomyelitis. The statistical data of 2013 indicates that the mean age of patients was sixty nine years (Lindsey et al, 2013). It was from a sample of people aged forty five to seventy five years. Additionally, seventy three percent of these individuals were males. The data underscores the existence of threats for older people who may not have a strong immune system. Although, mosquito bites are the major agents of the West Nile Virus, there are other factors that lead to disease. For instance, there are rare cases when infection occurs via blood transfusion (Lindsey et al, 2013). Additionally, the virus can spread from mother to infant during labour. Moreover, breast milk is a common medium of infections amomng infants. Unsafe occupational exposures in the laboratory can also result in infections.

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Epidemiology is the study of causal agents of a disease in a specific populace (Lindsey et al, 2013). It involves effective scrutiny of the factors that accentuate contamination. They include the agents of the ailments, hosts of the virus, and medium of diffusion. Additionally, it evaluates the number of risks that may increase the number of the causal agents. Clearly, the presence of the multifaceted ecosystem complicates predictions of future outbreaks. It becomes difficult to understand and locate the determinants of a disease in a target populace. As a result, the medical institutions must upgrade their analysis strategies and increse the frequency of the surveillance. Consequently, such pro-active measures will reduce the number of infections WNV (Lindsey et al, 2013).

Impact on Nursing Practice

Evidently, the BSN nurses directly respond to the WNV predicaments. Firstly, they are part of the disease inspection and improve contacts between the healthcare providers and health departments (Stanhope, 2014). Additionally, they are the channels of communication between states and the Centres for Disease Control CDCs (Stanhope, 2014). Moreover, they provide updated information on the status quo during the outbreaks.

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Secondly, the nurses enhance the electronic laboratory reporting (Hunter, 2007). The directive ensures improving health as well as disease reporting and recording (Stanhope, 2014). It increases the interoperability between the state and health departments. Consequently, the states are able to detect and control infection in a quite short period. As a result, there are fewer cases of infections as reported in the 2013. Furthermore, the nurses are in charge of offering sensitization to patients and the society through periodic public education.

Clearly, the only guaranteed means of WNV elimination are disease awareness and preventative measures. The enactment of elaborate prevention and protection facilities will provide a long-lasting solution to the problem. There are four major ways of protection, namely: defending using the reppelents, appropriately dressing preventing the mosquito bites, avoiding outdoor activityduring dawn and dusk, and drain the standing water (Stanhope, 2014). Every human being be informed on how to defend himself/herself from infection. Every state should provide its populace with mosquito repellents that prevent bites. The use of products such as DEET is essential to shielding infants from mosquito bites (Environmental Protection Agency, 2012). Moreover, dressing appropriately is important for maintaining a good health. Wearing protective gear ensures that the skin is safe from bites that lead to infections.