Tuberculosis is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which is spread through the air by sneezing, coughing, or sneezing by an infected person (Nelson & Williams, 2014). Tuberculosis mainly affects the lungs but can also spread to other body parts in serious cases, which includes the brain negatively affecting the health status of the infected individual. Tuberculosis in the lungs and throat is easily transmitted to other individuals due to the breathing system, which transmits the bacteria to the air through coughing or sneezing (Nelson & Williams, 2014). This disease requires immediate medical help as it can lead to death if left untreated. This disease has also been indicated to be among the leading causes of death in the United States with most of the cases as a result of ineffective management of the disease (Nelson & Williams, 2014). This paper will discuss the tuberculosis epidemiology.
Description of Tuberculosis
Tuberculosis can affect all individuals regardless of their age, origin, or color. Tuberculosis infection starts with a latent stage where the disease does not have any signs or symptoms indicating the presence of the disease in infected individuals (Sulis et al., 2014). This will prevent infected individuals from diagnosing the disease at an early stage in order to implement effective strategies to address the disease (Sulis et al., 2014). Luckily, this disease can be managed through medication to treat the disease completely as well as prevent the disease from spreading to other individuals. This disease can be diagnosed through testing blood samples from infected individuals. Symptoms of the disease include sweating at night, fever, rapid loss, and chronic cough, which may sometimes contain traces of blood in the sputum (Sulis et al., 2014).
Other symptoms include pain in the chest, constant fatigue, and loss of appetite. It is important for infected individuals to strictly adhere to the dosage of the medications to prevent the disease from developing again (Sulis et al., 2014). This may also lead to the disease becoming resistant to the medications, which may worsen their health status. Research has indicated majority of the United States citizens having latent TB infection, which increases the risk of developing the tuberculosis disease (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018). Over 9,000 TB cases were reported in the United States in 2016, which is equivalent to about 3 cases per 100,000 individuals. Every state of the United States reported TB cases with California, Texas, and New York among the leading states reporting high numbers of TB infections compared to other states (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2018).
Determinants of Health as Related To the Development of TB
One of the determinants of health related to the development of TB includes social aspects, which are attributed to individual as well as group differences in health perspectives. Some of the social factors that are attributed to the development of TB include poverty, which impacts the economic status of individuals (Ah?mad & Mokaddas, 2013). Poverty has been indicated to contribute to poor living conditions, which are risk factors to the development of TB. Poor living conditions may lead to poor ventilation, malnutrition, and in access of healthcare services, which are important in providing health information in addressing the disease (Ah?mad & Mokaddas, 2013).
Due to this aspect, this disease is likely to spread among individuals in this social bracket faster than other groups. Another determinant of health related to the development of TB is individual factors (Ah?mad & Mokaddas, 2013). These may include risky behaviors, which increase the probability of the individuals in developing the disease. Some of these behaviors include smocking and lack of exercise activities, which improve the immune system to fight some of the infectious diseases including TB (Ah?mad & Mokaddas, 2013).
Host Factors, Agent Factors (Presence or Absence), and Environmental Factors
TB is caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis, which enters the host who are humans through the air. This bacterium can be transmitted from an infected person to another individual through coughing or sneezing (Sulis et al., 2014). This pathogen is able to survive harsh conditions with glucose, which is the main source of nutrient contributing to its growth. These bacteria can move through the blood to other parts of the body which include the lungs, kidneys, or the spine (Sulis et al., 2014). Individuals living in a poor environment may be at an increased risk of developing the disease. This is also common to individuals who are malnourished due to the body’s inability to fight the disease (Sulis et al., 2014).
This makes the individuals more susceptible to TB infection as well as a latent infection developing to a TB disease. Other factors include HIV infection, which weakens the body’s immune system rendering the infected individuals susceptible to develop TB (Sulis et al., 2014). Low body weight is also associated to malnutrition, which contributes to a weak immune system. A poor environment, which may include the absence of a well-ventilated environment and poor living conditions, are also a risk factor contributing to the development of TB (Sulis et al., 2014).
The Role of the Primary Care FNP to the Management of Infectious Diseases (Case Finding, Reporting, Data Collecting, Data Analysis, and Follow-Up)
A primary care nurse practitioner plays an important role in addressing and managing individuals infected with TB. This includes implementing preventive measures to prevent the disease from spreading to other individuals close to the infected individual (Fauci, 2018). A healthcare practitioner is well equipped with the knowledge and trained on how to implement different strategies based on different scenarios in addressing specific healthcare issues (Fauci, 2018). Due to the long process involved in the medication process, it is important for the primary care nurse practitioners to follow up on their patients to ensure that the individuals follow the right doses as well as the right drug schedules (Fauci, 2018).
This will prevent the individuals from ineffectively following the medication guidelines, which may lead to resistance as well as negative effects of the disease if it is not effectively addressed (Fauci, 2018). The primary care nurse practitioner is also responsible for analyzing different cases in a given community as well as reporting any important issues to the relevant authorities and policymakers (Fauci, 2018). This may include risk factors as well as any other factors, which may be beneficial in implementing the treatment strategies effectively. The information collected can be used to launch campaigns to create a safe environment and improve some of the social aspects, which are indicated to contribute to the development of the disease (Fauci, 2018).
Ah?mad, S., & Mokaddas, E. (2013). Tuberculosis and multidrug-resistant tuberculosis: Epidemiology, diagnosis, resistance mechanisms, treatment strategies and novel drug. New York: Nova Biomedical.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2018). Tuberculosis. Trends in Tuberculosis, 2017. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/statistics/tbtrends.htm
Fauci, A. S. (2018). Addressing the Tuberculosis Epidemic: 21st Century Research for an Ancient Disease. JAMA, 320(13), 1315–1316.
Nelson, K. E., & Williams, C. M. (2014). Infectious disease epidemiology: Theory and practice. Sudbury: Jones and Bartlett.
Sulis, G., Roggi, A., Matteelli, A., & Raviglione, M. C. (2014). Tuberculosis: epidemiology and control. Mediterranean journal of hematology and infectious diseases, 6(1), e2014070. doi:10.4084/MJHID.2014.070