Infectious diseases are infections that are caused by microorganisms. The microorganisms that cause infectious diseases include viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi. Most contagious diseases have common symptoms. The symptoms include fatigue, diarrhea, muscle aches, and fever. Some infectious diseases include malaria, influenza, tuberculosis, tetanus, and pneumonia. This paper mainly focuses on malaria as one of the most common contagious diseases.
Malaria is the most significant health problem that is known worldwide. Malaria is a disease that is most prevalent among children and pregnant women. About 2,000 people in the US contract malaria yearly (Tadesse, Fogarty & Deressa, 2017, p.7). Travelers and immigrants from countries with active malaria transmission—mainly from sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia—account for many cases in the United States. 70% of travelers and immigrants were affected by malaria, and 30% of the recorded death cases were due to malaria. In 2020 more than 24 million patients were recorded to have malaria, while the recorded deaths in the same year were 627,000. Therefore, malaria accounts for 95% of deaths in the US per year.
Historical outbreaks of malaria
There were 63 malaria outbreaks in the United States between 1957 and 2003. Each of these outbreaks was caused by infected persons who had traveled to the United States from a region where the disease was prevalent (Talapko, Škrlec, Alebić, Jukić & Včev, 2019, p.3). Malaria was historically widespread in the United States but was proclaimed eradicated in 1951. Around 1,500 cases and five deaths are reported annually in the US; most of them are in returning tourists. For approximately the past 50 years, mosquitoes have spread the disease locally in the United States, leading to over 150 locally transmitted cases and over 60 small outbreaks.
Control of the malaria
Due to the increase in the number of affected people in the US, there was a need to take significant control and intervention measures To reduce the prevalence of the disease (Talapko, Škrlec, Alebić, Jukić & Včev, 2019, p.5). Malaria was handled and controlled by educating the community about malaria prevention measures. The prevention measures included using mosquito nets, using mosquito repellents, and avoiding stagnant waters around their homes. Therefore, counseling or educating the community about malaria control measures resulted in a more significant decrease in the positive cases reported in the community and country at large. Furthermore, screens on both doors and windows significantly prevented mosquitoes from penetrating people’s houses.
Objective and goals
Apart from controlling the disease, my education plan to prevent malaria was guided by several goals and objectives. My main goals and objectives for public education about controlling malaria are to reduce the spread of the disease entirely; in my community, where the control is not yet practical and achievable, and to eradicate malaria as a public health concern. Moreover, I also had an objective of conducting outreach to the people found in the interior To provide counseling on the control measures of malaria and how to avoid it (Tadesse, Fogarty & Deressa, 2017, p.2). With these goals and objectives in mind, I had to make sure that I had an education plan about malaria control measures in the community and the country at large.
How to reduce health risks of malaria
Malaria is also associated with several health risks. The most common health risks associated with malaria include difficulties in breathing, brain damage, seizures, and death (Tadesse, Fogarty & Deressa, 2017, p.3). Therefore appropriate interventions should be implemented To avoid these health risks from overtaking the community level of dealing with the disease. The measures I would implement in my education plan include designing proper interventions for fighting malaria before it becomes a hazard and implementing outreach programs in my schedule. The outreach programs will help me to assist the people who are vulnerable to diseases, especially the illiterate old adults in the community.
Recognition of pathogens
Microorganisms of the genus Plasmodium cause malaria. There are more than a hundred species of Plasmodium, and they can infect a wide range of animals, from reptiles and birds to mammals (Dye-Braumuller & Kanyangarara, 2021, p.1). The education plan will entail the leading cause of malaria, the preventive measures, and the cure of the disease. The reasons outlined in the plan will reveal the specific pathogens that cause malaria and the health problems or risks related to the disease. The primary health problems outlined in the education plan include difficulties in breathing, seizures, fever, jaundice, and anemia. Thus, the education plan will enable the community members to take responsibility for their health, which will help prevent the health risks associated with the disease. I will also ensure that my education plan includes the signs and symptoms of malaria’s health problems.
Measures to prevent malaria
The education plan also includes the measures that should be put in place by the community members To prevent malaria outbreaks. The first measure in my plan would be to reduce the contact between humans and mosquitoes (Dye-Braumuller & Kanyangarara, 2021, p.2). The connection between humans and mosquitoes will be achieved by sleeping under mosquito nets. The second measure would be to use residual sprays, which will aid in killing the mosquitoes, thus limiting the risk of an outbreak of malaria. The last measure would be to destruct mosquito breeding sites. Therefore, when these measures are implemented, the risk of a malaria outbreak is reduced.
Malaria is one of the most dangerous infectious diseases known worldwide. Malaria is usually transmitted by the female anopheles mosquito, which spreads the parasites that cause malaria. Malaria is known to be most prevalent among pregnant women and children. Proper measures and interventions should be implemented to prevent malaria-related health risks, such as anemia.
Dye-Braumuller, K., & Kanyangarara, M. (2021). Malaria in the USA: How Vulnerable Are We to Future Outbreaks? Current Tropical Medicine Reports, 8(1), 43-51. Doi: 10.1007/s40475-020-00224-z
Tadesse, F., Fogarty, A., & Deressa, W. (2017). Prevalence and associated malaria risk factors among adults in East Shea Zone of Oromia Regional State, Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study. BMC Public Health, 18(1). DOI: 10.1186/s12889-017-4577-0
Talapko, Škrlec, Alebić, Jukić, & Včev. (2019). Malaria: The Past and the Present. Microorganisms, 7(6), 179. DOI: 10.3390/microorganisms7060179