Infectious Diseases and Public health

Infectious Diseases and Public health

Infectious Diseases and Public health

In Fall, 2020, Brian Richardson a Biological Scientist III from the Disease Control & Health Protection Division of the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County presented information to the class about communicable diseases. The students had requested this speaker and wanted information about several issues:

1. What diseases must be reported to the health department and how do staff nurses know if something has to be reported?

2. How is reporting done from the hospital to the health department?

3. How does the health department get information to hospitals and other community agencies?

4. Are vaccines really necessary? Are they necessary for everything, or can’t something just be left to take their natural course? – Unfortunately we ran out of time before he could address this important topic, but he did send us several valuable resources to refer to.

Mr. Richardson presented to the class via Zoom, however he did not have camera access so he is not visible. Please watch the video to understand how the public health department and hospitals and other area health related agencies communicate with each other related to infectious diseases. The video is about an hour long.

At the same time, you may want to have your text book handy and open to chapter 13: Epidemiology. This is an important chapter for public health nurses as infections diseases are always a concern as they can spread so rapidly. Clearly, we have witnessed this over this past year with the COVID-19 pandemic. It is important to understand the terminology used in this chapter as many of the terms are misunderstood and used incorrectly. Be sure to review the terms described.


What is the role of public health in the control of illness and disease?


Infectious Diseases and Public health

As you watch the video and review chapter 13, consider the following questions to respond to on the discussion board.

1. Mr. Richardson mentions a test result was “not in the reference range,” test accuracy, and confidence in test results. The text discusses reliability/validity and sensitivity/specificity. Describe your concerns or confidence in test results. Explain your thoughts in terms of the different measures available to test for COVID-19, or hepatitis, or any other communicable disease where people are concerned about the disease being spread to friends, family, co-workers.

2. Chapter 14 in the text continues to talk about infectious diseases. Review this chapter. There are many terms in this chapter that are also important to understand in this new age of easy access to global travel, close living arrangements for many families and neighborhoods, antibiotic-resistant infectious diseases, and many other factors. As we are starting to emerge from the extreme shut-down necessary to prevent more deaths from the pandemic, we realize we are not as immune to pandemics as we might have thought. What information in this chapter helps you understand more about infectious disease and its prevention, transmission, treatments, etc? Is there anything in the chapter that will help you modify your practice to be more aware of infectious disease prevention interventions? What can you do as an individual to help decrease the spread of infection?

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