Epidemiology Essay on Tuberculosis

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Pages: 7

Epidemiology Paper on Tuberculosis

Tuberculosis (Mycobacterium tuberculosis), also known as TB, is a disease spread by respiratory inhalation of droplets that contain the bacteria. Tuberculosis is an ancient disease that has been traced back at least 9000 years. In 1882, Dr. Robert Koch was the first physician to describe Mycobacterium tuberculosis as the germ responsible for tuberculosis. However, treatment that was evidenced based was not put into practice until the 20th century. It is estimated that 2 billion people around the world are infected with the TB bacteria. Approximately 5 to 10 percent of these infected people will actual develop active TB and experience the life-threatening symptoms of the disease. Tuberculosis
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Laboratory tests to determine resistance for this strain can take several weeks which can delay treatment. Cure rate for MDR-TB is less than 50%. In 2006, a study done in Africa discovered a new strain called extensively drug-resistant TB (XDR-TB) in HIV infected individuals. The CDC and WHO have identified this newest strain in 17 countries including the US which accounts for 4% of the population infected with XDR-TB. (lung.org) Treatment for active disease will consist of multiple drug therapy, isolation, rest and respiratory supportive care. In-hospital isolation may be done in a negative pressure room. (Maurer & Smith, 2013) In 1919, a field supervisor for the New England Red Cross, Mary Van Zile, RN, outlined for a nursing group what she saw as needed for tuberculosis nursing. Van Zile noted the tuberculosis nurse would require broad training to carry out what she describes as the four responsibilities: “1) provide care to the person with tuberculosis and his or her family, 2) provide sufficient support for the family to maintain a normal standard of living, 3) safeguard the community by teaching the patient, family and community about prevention, and 4) educate the public to support efforts to prevent the spread of this disease.” (King, 2011) Today the public or community health nurse, in addition to above, will investigate communicable disease by examining the chain of infection. The infectious agent (causative