The Cockatoo Rest is currently facing an increasing number of hospitalization that resulted in the shortage of employees. Particularly, this problem influences the nurses who work there. Community is seriously concerned about this problem, and thus, public health protection strategies can help to diminish the number of sick people. The main aim of the following report is to analyse the factors that can lead to the spread of infection among community members and the ways to avoid such outcome.
Last year, the number of reported cases of infection at the Cockatoo Rest with influenza was much higher than for any other illness. This particular illness is a major public health problem, because it spreads easily, seriously infects the upper and the lower airways of people, and in some cases is even fatal. In addition, influenza usually results in absence of sick employees at their workplace, and those, who have the symptoms of it, cannot temporary perform their work at the positions, where they can infect the visitors of the community. What is more, students with influenza are prohibited from visiting school, because children who have weak immune system can easily get sick. The community also includes cafes where employees with influenza can easily condemn the food that they prepare and serve (UniSA 2016a). The infected people can potentially encounter such complications as pneumonia, dehydration, or some long-term consequences of the latter. Those who are seriously ill and already have complications should be treated at the hospital.
Nursing profession is at high risk because its representatives have contact with patients who are ill, and at the same time can infect those visiting hospital with a certain health problem and not having a strong immunity. Therefore, nurses should be aware of their actions as well as of the appropriate public health protection methods. The current report is aimed at researching the modes of influenza transmission and the ways of protecting the members of the community.
According to the statistical information on the cases of health infections within the community, it can be assumed that influenza has the biggest influence on health of the community members. The number of infected people constantly increases, and starting from the year 2011, the quantity of cases multiplied five times.
In order to compare the results of Cockatoo rest and Australian statistics, there is a necessity to calculate such rates as the annual incident rate and the 5-year cumulative incidence for the population of 100,000 people. The annual incident rate is calculated as the number of people with the disease divided by the total population of the community, which amounts to 0.0053. For the comparison with Australian statistics, there is a need to multiply the result by 100,000 and it will be 533.28 (UniSA 2016b). After that, the 5-year cumulative incidence was calculated and it equals 0.43%. Obviously, when compared to the whole population of the community, the number of people who were not sick is very high and a quantity of people infected by influenza is less then one percent of whole population. In comparison to Australian statistics, the Cockatoo Rest has rather low percentage of people with influenza. In 2015, the rate of people who were diagnosed with influenza was 1.5, which is higher than in the community under consideration (NSW 2015). The latter implies that the Cockatoo Rest is less influenced by influenza then other parts of Australia.
Transmission of the Disease
Influenza is transmitted through various modes including direct and indirect contact, droplet, and airborne. This virus lives in respiratory secretions that are generated by coughing and sneezing (World Health Organization 2012). As a rule, one person is likely to infect two people per day. The disease can sometimes be asymptomatic, but is still dangerous for other people. Adults can shed it in 3-5 days, while for children this process can take as long as three weeks. According to the epidemiological triad, people can get infected with influenza when there are all three components of epidemiological triangle. For influenza, an agent is a virus that causes infection, a host is a sick person, and the environment is an external condition that can lead to transmission of the disease. The facilities where a transition has a high possibility to occur include households, schools, closed environments, healthcare institutions, and airplanes. In most cases, influenza can be considered as a seasonal illness; yet it can occur and circulate at any time among the people with weak immune system. In such a case, the disease is called a pandemic influenza (World Health Organisation 2013).
Direct contact implies the possibility of infection transmission through body-to-body contact. Infectious secretions can be dangerous when you have a contact with other person with your mouths, nose, or eyelids. It can be a handshake or a kiss, for example. In this regard, people can protect themselves by avoiding direct contact with ill people.
Other possible way to receive influenza is through indirect contact that can be by means of intermediate objects. The discussed type of virus can survive for a long period on people’s hands. Frequent hand washing with the use of alcohol washes can prevent the transmission. Furthermore, it is not advisable to touch face and nose so as to avoid the bacteria getting inside. It is necessary to point out that the bacteria can stay alive up to 72 hours on hard non-porous surfaces such as steel and plastic, while on porous surfaces like tissues, handkerchiefs, magazines etc. it survives less than 12 hours. Microorganisms can also live on sleeves, facemasks, and other surfaces that can reach mucous membranes (Department of Health 2012). Interestingly, influenza can also live on banknotes. Therefore, it is evident that proper personal hygiene is very effective to protect oneself from influenza.
Airborne type of transmission concerns the infections that can stay in the air and travel long distances. Microorganisms can be produced by coughing, talking, and breathing. Therefore, the is a high possibility to get influenza through large droplets, which do not stay in the air. They can get into respiratory tract and further can be transmitted from human to human becoming a cause of influenza. When infected people start to cough or sneeze, the distance of 1 meter radius is enough to pass it to unprotected people. Etiquette for coughs, sneezes, and spitting can reduce the amount of microbes that are transmitted to a person who is not sick (World Health Organization 2014). Droplets of smaller size can stay in the air and be transported for long distances - in such situation the amount of microbes is insufficient and they are dispersed. Such mode of transmission is less dangerous than others because it demand certain special conditions for a person to get sick. It is not possible for it to transmit through the food or water. Furthermore, this type of infection cannot survive at swimming pools, spas, water parks, fountains, or any other water recreations.
Finally, it is also possible to be infected from animals that have their own variety of influenza virus. Usually, the process requires direct contact with infected animals and the bacteria cannot be spread far between people. However, it can be transmitted through droplets that animal may spread. In some cases, these viruses may change and undergo adaptation becoming dangerous to human. In this situation, the viruses can easily cause an epidemics or pandemics (World Health Organization, 2009).
When nursing profession is concerned, all modes of transmission need to be considered because the workers contact with patients directly (Bridges, Kuehnert, and Hall, 2003).
Public Health Prevention Strategies
Public health strategies are used to protect the health of the members of the community so that everyone can enjoy the benefits of living in a healthy society. These strategies assign people certain new responsibilities. The effectiveness of their application depends on teamwork of all the members. The following are some strategies that can be helpful in reducing the amount of sick people at the Cockatoo rest.
First strategy that is aimed at diminishing the amount of infected people is the improvement in community hygiene. The new measures to prevent the transmission of influenza should be explained to all members. They include respiratory hygiene, hand washing, disinfection of the used medical equipment, and the usage of some personal protective equipment. Respiratory hygiene implies that etiquette for coughs, sneezes, and spitting should be explained. Understanding the importance of proper personal hygiene can help the residents to protect themselves from becoming infected by this disease. For example special lessons at school can be conducted to explain the necessity of covering mouth or nose for children. Besides, protective clothing should be used by all medical workers, especially when they do the procedures such as bronchoscopy or intubation, which can help to prevent their infection from indirect contact or aerosol spread. Protective equipment for nurses includes gloves, facemasks, gowns, and eye protection. Proper hand hygiene also helps to protect the members of the community from influenza. All the above actions can potentially decrease the amount of infected.
Other strategy that prevents the spread of influenza is an isolation and quarantine. This illness has short serial interval and this actions are effective at early stages.
Isolation is understood as separation of ill people from those who are not. It lengths is the same as the period of communicability of influenza. It can help to prevent direct and indirect transmission. Sick people should be isolated at a hospital or at their houses. If person lives with some other people it should have own room. At the period of communicability those who take care of ill should wear protective clothing that are specified by this illness and also reduce their contact with ill person. Health care facilities should provide visitors and patient protective clothes from exposure to new infection.
Quarantine means that movement of people is restricted when they have contagious disease. Restrictions in this case are made to prevent fast transmission of disease during its’ period of communicability or incubation period. Quarantine can be accomplished through making people stay at their houses or restriction to travel out of the area that is impacted by influenza. Those people who have to stay at home be provided by all necessary supplies and services.
Hospitals should have special rules for quarantine and isolation. Medical staff should be very careful with patients on early stages of influenza and use properly all protective equipment. Nurses have a contact with infected people more than other workers of the hospital so they should understand modes of transmission of it and follow all guidelines to protect themselves and other patients.
In report explored influence of influenza on the Cockatoo Rest. From this research we can declare that this illness has the biggest impact on our community. Mentioned in the report modes of transmission can help us to understand how to protect the Cockatoo Rest from spread of influenza and alleviate its impact. We understood that this illness is the most risky for our medical staff. The highest risk of get sick is nurses. In this report we provided two strategies that can help to prevent infection of our residents and workers. But these strategies should be explained and understood not only by medical but also by all members of the community. Only in case if all people will follow these strategies we can achieve a significant result and reduce a number of reported cases of this infection.