Communicable disease and non-communicable disease
- Pages: 7
- Word count: 1716
- Category: Disease
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In this essay I will be looking at two well known diseases, one of which is communicable and the other non-communicable, and providing general information about each of them, like what they are, how they are spread e. t. c. Most importantly I will be both identifying and explaining the different methods which are used to prevent and control these deadly diseases. I will also evaluate how effective these methods are providing facts and figures to support their outcomes and weighing up the strengths and weaknesses of each method.
Non-communicable disease: Stroke I am firstly going to discuss a very common non-communicable disease, a stroke. It is non-communicable as it cannot be spread. I will provide you with some general information about the disease itself. Every five minutes someone in the UK has a stroke, that’s an estimated 150,000 people per year. It’s a fairly common condition that is the third biggest killer in the UK. Most people affected by a stroke are over the age 65, but anyone can have a stroke, including children. With a stroke every seconds counts, and the sooner the problem is diagnosed the less chance there is of the individual dying or suffering long-term disability.
A stroke is also known as a cerebrovascular attack (CVA) or a cerebrovascular episode (CVE). A stroke is a brain attack that occurs because there is the rapidly developing loss of brain function due to an interruption in the blood supply to the brain. Blood carries essential nutrients and oxygen to the brain so without a blood supply the brain cells in that area become damaged or destroyed and aren’t able to carry out their function. The brain is the control centre of the whole body so when there is damage to it the rest of the bodily functions are also affected.
There are two types of strokes, these are, ischaemic which occurs when a blood clot blocks a blood vessel or artery. The second is a Haemorrhagic stroke where a blood vessel bursts causing a bleed within the brain. There are common signs and symptoms which can help to recognise whether an individual has suffered from a stroke, the most common are; face drops, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech and vomiting. If these signs and symptoms disappear within a few minutes or hours then it is possible the individual may have suffered from a transient ischaemic attack (TIA) also called a mini-stroke.
There are many factors which can increase the risk of someone having a stroke, these are; smoking, high blood pressure, heart disease, age and diabetes. In order to diagnose a stroke a doctor will carry out a physical examination and a series of tests like fasting lipid panel’s and blood glucose. CT and MRI scans are also commonly used. Preventing or controlling a stroke from occurring can prove difficult as there is nothing you can have, like a vaccine or medicines that will protect you from experiencing a stroke. Preventing is just as important as curing.
Preventing a stroke is all about raising awareness and helping people to understand what a stroke is so they know what to do in an emergency. In terms of protecting yourself from having a stroke you can look at the risk factors and try to reduce them within yourself. Some factors can’t be changed – like your genes, medical conditions or your age so unfortunately if you are of Asian, African and African-Caribbean origin you are more at risk. A stroke is not inevitable; you simply have to take steps to reduce your risk as simple lifestyle changes may prevent you from having a stroke.
If you have already had a stroke, such changes may help prevent stroke happening again. Smoking doubles your risk of having a stroke no matter what age you are or how long you have smokes for, so if you smoke one of the best ways to prevent yourself from experiencing a stroke is to stop smoking. Giving up is not easy but there is lots of help available and it’s worth it to improve your health and reduce the fact of you suffering a fatal disease like a stroke or cancer. Currently there are many campaigns to get people to eat healthy and this applies to you, if you are worrying about having a stroke.
By eating well and taking part in regular exercise you can control your risk of having a stroke. If you are don’t do this and you are overweight then you are more prone to diabetes, a risk factor of strokes. Just 30 minutes of activity a day five times a week can reduce your chances of having a stroke. If you do have a medical condition then by keeping it under control with the correct treatments you can decrease your risk of suffering a stroke. The main methods of preventing a stroke are to make lifestyle changes and to raise awareness. In my opinion both of these methods are very effective.
By helping people to change their lifestyles they are not only reducing the risk of suffering from a stroke but they are also reducing the risk of many other diseases this is a huge positive outcome. If people take the advice from medical professionals and make adjustments then they will build up their immune systems making it easier for them to fight of infectious diseases. The only problem with this is that it can be difficult for some people to change factors in the way they live due to money. Fitness classes, gym memberships and healthy foods are expensive it’s hard for some people to know where to start.
Promotion is a great method used to prevent strokes from occurring; the new F. A. S. T adverts on the television raise awareness and give understanding to everyone. Promotion is not only used via the media but leaflets and booklets are widely available from chemists and hospitals too, that provide general information about strokes and other diseases. Communicable disease: Tuberculosis The other disease I am going to discuss is a communicable disease, known as tuberculosis or more commonly TB. This is classed as a communicable disease as it is contagious and can be spread.
I will now provide you with some general information about tuberculosis. Tuberculosis is a bacterial infection spread by inhaling tiny droplets of saliva from the coughs or sneezes of an infected person. TB primarily affects the lungs but the infection is capable of spreading too many different parts of the body, such as the bones or nervous system. About 150 years ago TB was fairly common causing one in eight deaths in the U. K. but now with better housing, nutrition and the available treatments it is a lot less heard of. There are two different types of tuberculosis, active TB and latent TB.
Active TB is when your immune system fails to kill or contain the infection and it slowly spreads to your lungs. Latent TB is when our immune system cannot kill the bacteria, but manages to build a defensive barrier around the infection. This means that you will not experience any symptoms, but the bacteria will remain in your body and in some cases it does develop into active TB. The most common signs and symptoms which tuberculosis sufferer’s can expect to experience are; chronic or persistent cough, fatigue, lack of appetite, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
There are many factors which can increase the risk of an individual contracting TB these are; if they have lived in the same household or been in lengthy contact with someone with infectious TB, living in poor housing conditions, have lived, worked or stayed in a county with high rates if TB, may have been exposed to TB in their youth, have been in prison, are unable to fight off infections due to illnesses, misuse drugs and alcohol or have HIV. In order to diagnose an individual with tuberculosis they will usually have a chest X-ray examination carried out on them.
Unlike a stroke, tuberculosis and many other communicable diseases can be prevented or controlled through vaccinations. TB is prevented through a vaccine called the BCG, Bacillus Calmette-Gui?? rin and it is thought that between 70-80% of people who are given this vaccine are protected against TB. This means that it is an effective measure against controlling and preventing tuberculosis. However, BCG vaccinations are not routinely given as part of the childhood immunisation schedule anymore like the MMR jab, unless a baby is thought to have an increased risk of coming into contact with TB compared to the general population.
Babies born in areas of inner-city London, where TB rates are higher than in the rest of the country, will probably be given the BCG vaccination. Vaccinations may also be recommended for people who have an increased risk of developing a TB infection; for example, health workers, people who have recently arrived from countries with high levels of TB and people who have come into close contact with somebody infected with TB. Although I think this is an effective method it still has a weakness, as it only lasts for 15 years.
In some countries to control tuberculosis they have a national tuberculosis programme where authorities are notified about patients who have been diagnosed with TB. Also in America people with tuberculosis who are not taking steps to control or treat their infection can be locked away in a type of prison hospital, until they have been treated. This can take weeks or months but it protects the other members of the public and controls the disease by keeping the rates of tuberculosis down. The most important step is to find, isolate and treat all disease carriers until they are no longer an infective risk to others.
It is always advisable not to get too close to people who are coughing; equally, people with a cough should be aware of those around them and try not to cough near them. Overall there are always steps to control and prevent both communicable and non-communicable diseases and they will come in different forms like vaccines, medicines or physical changes. Every prevention method will have a different effectiveness on an individual but in my own opinion these methods will soon become more advanced and hopefully in years to come the diseases can be wiped out entirely.