Community outbreak

Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus

Respiratory syndrome coronavirus refers to a respiratory disease. Novel coronavirus is the main causative agent of the disease. The disease was identified in 2012 in the Middle East, specifically in Saudi Arabia. It was in April 2012 that the first patient in the country was identified. The transmission of MERS-CoV is between animals and people, making it a zoonotic virus (WHO, 2017). About 27 countries have reported cases of the disease since 2012. In Tunisia and South Korea, the first case was identified in May 2013. In Malaysia, the first case was identified in April 2014, Indonesia was in May 11, 2014, in Oman in October 2013, and Philippines in April 2014. Besides Saudi Arabia, Hajj witnessed the first case in 2013, the UAE in April 2014, Jordan in April 2012, and Iran in May 2014. Outside Middle East and Africa, cases were reported in Europe in France since May 2013, Greece in April 2014, Italy in May 2013, Spain in 2013, and the UK in February 2013. In the United States, the first case was reported in May 2014 (de Groot et al., 2013).

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Saudi Arabia accounted for about 80% of human cases. The World Health Organization has identified 2,102 laboratory-confirmed cases, since September 2012 (de Groot et al., 2013). The movement of the disease across the borders has been slow because the disease is not easily transmitted from human to human. For example, only 2 cases have tested positive in the US, indicating the potential for travel movement of the disease. MERS-CoV is the communicable disease identified and discussed. This disease is presented in relation to the outbreak that occurred in Saudi Arabia. The essay provides a descriptive discourse regarding the countries involved in the 2012 outbreak, but the dates the disease reached these countries could not be located.

Dromedary camels have been suggested as the leading reservoir hosts for the virus. The incubation period of the virus is between two to 14 days from the day the virus is acquired until the time when the symptoms become evident. The symptoms of the disease are the same as those of influenza with fever and a soft cough. As it progresses, the disease causes dyspnea and hypoxia. Fatal respiratory failure can result in later stages. Since 2012, about 35% of reported cases of the disease have died, with at least 733 deaths having been reported by W.H.O (de Groot et al., 2013). The disease has been reported in people, health status and age group notwithstanding. The aged and people with clinical conditions such as heart disease and diabetes among others are at a greater risk. In this case, the risk is increased among those in close contact with camels and those taking care of the infected.

While the actual mode of transmission is not conclusively known, the disease is argued to be caused by close contact with the host (camels). Those in close contact with the animal has been said to be the leading risk factor. Indeed, those coming in contact with camel respiratory secretions, camel body fluids, unpasteurized dairy products, and raw or undercooked meat place themselves at the greatest risk. Those working in areas that place them at the risk of coming into contact with these hosts are in greater danger of contracting the disease (WHO, 2017). This is the reason the disease was greater in the Middle East where camels are reared at a very high rate.

Potential for Occurrence in a Community

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If the outbreak of the disease was noted in the local community, it would have major effects on the functioning of the various symptoms. The effect would be evident from the fact that the sick individuals would not be able to work productively and they would require interventions to treat them. The disease has been revealed to kill a considerable number of the affected (35%) (de Groot et al., 2013). Hence, in the event of the outbreak, there would be a widespread fear of infection within the community. Those attending schools and doing business, among others, would be afraid of going on with their normal activities because of the fear of infection. A major outbreak could lead to closing of schools. The hospitals would have to face the increased demand for their services. The cost of treatment would be borne by the hospital and the local government (WHO, 2017). The economy would bear the cost of the medical burden and loss of productivity as many would avoid showing up for transport and in the workplace due to the disease.

Reporting Protocol

The community nurse plays an important role in the identification and communication of an outbreak. The nurse or hospital administrator is the first person that should inform a case of outbreak. They should report to the relevant government agency, such as the CDC. This is the body responsible for further investigation of the outbreak to confirm the epidemic and the extent. The United States has general and permanent laws governing the reporting of communicable diseases, under the United States Code. The applicable Sections are “264-272: Title 42 – The Public Health and Welfare, Chapter 6A – Public Health Service, Subchapter II – General Powers and Duties, Part G – Quarantine and Inspection” (Gostin & Wiley, 2016, p. 1).

Preventive Strategies

Patient education strategy is one of the most effective ways of preventing the disease. The move involves creation of awareness on the importance of maintaining safety such as avoiding contact with the animal products that are suggested to be the cause of the disease. Behavior change campaigns could also play an important role in preventing the disease. This will include the need to practice caution when dealing with animals, especially when handling their products, good hygiene practices such as hand wash and avoiding contact with carcasses (WHO, 2017). As a rule, people should avoid eating raw or undercooked animal products.

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