This week, you will conduct an outbreak investigation of a disease.
You are an epidemiologist for your local health department, and you are conducting an outbreak investigation of the disease you chose for this week’s discussion.
- In your role as a health department official, you are interviewing a fictitious patient who has/had this disease. Using research you gathered when completing your discussion assignment, complete this questionnaire with this fictitious patient’s information to determine clues to the outbreak.
- Write a 1- to 2-page paper in which you present a hypothesis on how this outbreak could have been prevented. What prevention techniques have you learned about in the course materials and your discussions with your classmates that could have averted this outbreak?
Your paper must be 3–4 pages in length (including the questionnaire). Include evidence or information from at least two credible external sources and follow APA style for formatting and citation.
Your textbook and supplemental reading material may be used as a reference. The APA format for your text is as follows:
Nelson, K. E. (2014). Infectious disease epidemiology (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Learning.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011). Principles of epidemiology in public health practice: Self-study course (3rd ed.). Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Expert Solution Preview
This paper aims to present a hypothesis on how an outbreak of a disease could have been prevented. The outbreak investigation was conducted by interviewing a fictitious patient who had the disease, and clues were gathered to determine the possible causes of the outbreak. The prevention techniques learned from the course materials and discussions with classmates were used to evaluate and suggest methods that could have averted the outbreak.
Hypothesis for preventing the outbreak:
The outbreak investigation revealed that the disease was widespread in areas that lacked adequate sanitation and clean water. The disease was most likely waterborne, which means it was transmitted through contaminated water. Therefore, the hypothesis for preventing this outbreak is the proper implementation of safe water and sanitation practices.
Several prevention techniques could have averted this outbreak. First, the stakeholders should have provided access to clean water by ensuring proper treatment and regular testing of water sources. Additionally, the public should have been educated on the importance of hand hygiene, including washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after using the toilet and before eating. Furthermore, maintaining clean environments, promoting proper waste disposal practices, and ensuring that sewage systems functioned appropriately would have reduced the risk of transmission.
Moreover, early detection and isolation of infected persons are also crucial measures to prevent further spread. Public health officials could have conducted regular checks to detect signs of the outbreak sooner and isolate infected individuals to prevent them from infecting others. Additionally, evidence-based guidance such as social distancing protocols and wearing masks would have been effective in curtailing the spread of the disease.
In conclusion, effective prevention of waterborne diseases can reduce the incidence and spread of outbreaks. It is essential for stakeholders to prioritize providing access to clean water and adequate sanitation to prevent future outbreaks. Proper education and early detection are also key components in stopping the spread of infectious diseases.