Epidemiology of Tuberculosis
Grand Canyon NRS 427
March 15, 2014
Epidemiology of Tuberculosis
One of the world’s deadliest diseases, tuberculosis (TB), affects over one third of the world’s population. According to the CDC, in 2012 there were nearly 9 million people that were affected with this disease (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2014).
Tuberculosis is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis. This is a disease that affects not only the lungs but may also affect other parts of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. This disease is preventable as well as curable by can also be deadly if not treated. When a patient presents with ...view middle of the document...
These are both treatable disease processes.
If the patient have a latent TB infection, they may not have any symptoms as the bacteria that is in their body is not active. These patients do not present with any symptoms and cannot spread the disease to other people. If the bacterium in the patient’s body grows, the latent TB infection then becomes an active TB case. Due to this reason, if a patient is diagnosed with latent TB they are most likely to be treated to prevent an active case of TB. Diagnosing TB can be done by either a blood test or a tuberculin skin test. When a patient receives a positive TB skin test or blood test, this only states that they have been infected with TB. It cannot identify if the patient has latent TB or TB disease. To identify what strain of TB the patient has you would need to have further testing such as a chest x-ray or a sputum culture. Treatment of latent TB involves a nine month treatment plan which involves taking a daily dose of Isoniazid (INH). Another plan includes INH and Rifapentine (RPT) for a 12 dose regimen (CDC, 2014).
Social determinants in patients with TB include: the living conditions of the patients, availability of fresh healthy food, financial, geographic, and cultural barriers to health care (US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 2011). Poor ventilation and overcrowding living situations in not only patients’ homes, workplaces, and their community increases the chance of a patient that has not been affected with TB to be exposed to the disease. Lack of transportation along with other social and economic barriers may delay treatment in patients with TB.
A vaccine for TB, bacilli Calmette-Guerin (BCG), is used in many foreign countries (CDC, 2014). It is used to help in preventing childhood tuberculosis meningitis. This vaccine is not used in the United States due to the fact of the low risk of infection with TB. This vaccine is used only for patients that meet certain criteria and are followed closely by a TB expert (CDC, 2014).
The epidemiologic triangle is a model that scientists have developed to study health issues. It involves and agent which in this case would be the bacteria that causes TB is Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The hosts, usually humans or animals, are what are exposed by the agent and carry the disease. This includes the person that is or is not sick. The environment includes the surrounding or condition that cause the disease to be transferred to the host.
The role of a community health nurse is to make sure that patients with TB are given the correct medication and that they are educated on the importance of their medication regimen as it can be difficult at the beginning of their treatment due to the amount of pills they must take. There are many side-effects of the medications given to treat TB and even when symptoms appear to have resolved, the patient still has the disease and must continue the lengthy course of treatment. Nurses also...