Last Updated 30 Dec 2020

Communicable Disease

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Tuberculosis is a communicable disease that affects a person’s lungs. Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium. Untreated TB can be fatal, in the past TB was the leading cause of death in the United States. There are two TB related conditions that exit: latent TB infection and Active TB infection. TB can be transmitted to others when an infected person coughs or sneezes. According to the “Center for Disease Control” (2010), "TB disease is caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis.

The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal” (CDC, 2010, para. 3). Much like the common cold, TB is spread by an infected person breathing, coughing, speaking, or sneezing into the air; however, not everyone who acquires TB has symptoms. Latent TB infection occurs when one breathes in the bacteria can fight off the infection. Persons with latent TB have no symptoms and are not contagious unless the bacterium becomes active in one’s body.

Once the illness is active it becomes active TB, and the person will become sick. People who have weakened immune systems because of other illness are more susceptible to contracting active TB. According to the “CDC” (2010), “The general symptoms of TB disease include feelings of sickness or weakness, weight loss, fever, and night sweats. The symptoms of TB disease of the lungs also include coughing, chest pain, and the coughing up of blood. Symptoms of TB disease in other parts of the body depend on the area affected” (CDC, 2010, para. ). According to U. S. National Library of Medicine (2011), " The following factors may increase the rate of TB infection in a population: Increase in HIV infections, Increase in number of homeless people (poor environment and nutrition). In the United States, there are approximately 10 cases of TB per 100,000 people. However, rates vary dramatically by area of residence and socioeconomic status. ” (2011). A gap in care concerning TB patients is directly related to cultural beliefs and perceptions concerning disease.

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Cultural beliefs have a significant effect on the spread of disease and treatment options. For example, the Hmong in the United States represent a Southeast Asian minority group who immigrated to the United States. Many of the Hmong have settled in the Minneapolis metro area. The Hmong people experience an especially high rate of Tuberculosis (TB). Cultural influences play a significant part in diagnosing and controlling the spread of TB among the Hmong population. The language barrier is just one issue that health care workers have trouble with.

According to "Culture Care Connection" (2010), “One persistent programmatic implication is that because the Hmong language lacks words for many biomedical or physiological concepts, communication requires proxy words to convey these ideas. New Hmong words may even need to be created in order to convey Western terms or concepts” (Culture Care, 2010 para. 6). To close the gap the Minnesota Department of Health needs to educate minority groups and health care providers about how to effectively communicate with one another.

The study conducted by the CDC determined that although the Hmong were familiar with some TB symptoms the lack of education concerning the disease is a major roadblock to treatment. The study found that many Hmong believed that TB could not be transmitted through the air and that it could only be contracted by associating with “unclean” people. According to the “CDC” (2010), “Common misconceptions included that TB was transmitted by sharing eating utensils, through body fluids, or by kissing. Some participants believed TB was caused by unhygienic conditions” (CDC, 2010, para. 7).

Many respondents said that TB is a source of shame in the community and that shame would prevent many from seeking out treatment. The Minnesota Department of Health has initiated a TB prevention and control program collaborates with local public health departments statewide. The program collects and analyzes surveillance data to monitor epidemiologic trends and provides consultation to clinicians and local public health departments to assure appropriate clinical management and adequate therapy for TB patients and persons exposed to TB disease” (2012). In conclusion, Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium.

Untreated TB can be fatal. People who have weakened immune systems because of other illness are more susceptible to contracting active TB. A gap in care concerning TB patients is directly related to cultural beliefs and perceptions concerning disease. Cultural beliefs have a significant effect on the spread of disease and treatment options. To close the gap the Minnesota Department of Health needs to educate minority groups and health care providers about how to effectively communicate with one another.

References

  1. CDC (2010). Common Perceptions, Attitudes, and Beliefs about Tuberculosis among the Lao Hmong. ttp://www. cdc. gov/tb/publications/guidestoolkits/EthnographicGuides/Hmong
  2. Culture Care Connection. (2010). Retrieved from http://www. culturecareconnection. org/matters/diversity/hmong. html
  3. McArdle, M. (2011, October). Resistance Is Futile.. The Atlantic, (), . doi:galegroup. com. ezproxy. apollolibrary. com/
  4. Minnesota Department of Health. (2012). Retrieved from http://www. health. state. mn. us/divs/idepc/diseases/tb/program. html
  5. U. S. National Library of Medicine . (2011). Pulmonary tuberculosis. Retrieved from http://www. ncbi. nlm. nih. gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001141/

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Communicable Disease. (2016, Dec 07). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/communicable-disease/

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