Definition of a Communicable Disease Chain


social determinants of health such as poverty or geographic location can make people vulnerable to the transmission of communicable diseases. The socioeconomic conditions that communities are in influence their health either positively or negatively. When people live in a poor, unhygienic and unhealthy area, communicable and contagious diseases become dominant. Factors such as wealth, social class, and distribution of income, influence and power determine a population’s susceptibility to diseases. For instance, when the American South was infested with hookworms, they were passed over through feces into the open waste systems (“Redirect: CDC – Global Health”, 2018). Here, poor children who walked barefoot got the hookworms and became the hosts and the transmission went on until sanitary waste systems were put up. In other rural and under-developed areas, poorly disposed fecal matter contributes to the spread of amebic dysentery and typhoid.

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Definition of a Communicable Disease Chain

A communicable disease chain is the process by which pathogen or infectious agent is transmitted to many organisms. There must be an infectious agent, a source of the infection, a channel of transmission as well as host to carry the pathogen. Infective agents include viruses, bacteria, protozoan or fungus. The source of these agents can be the transmission form one host to another, an already infected animal or human, soil, water or air. The means of transmission refers to how the agent is being transmitted. It could be through water, air, physical contact or ingestion. The infective agent needs a host for it to be a complete chain or for it to replicate (“World Health Organization”, 2018).

                                      How a Nurse can break a link in a Communicable Disease Chain

Nurses can break a communicable disease chain by issuing the prescribed antibiotics or any other medications. Further, they should monitor the patient and assess their response to treatment. They must also ensure they do not spread the disease by adhering to proper hygiene guidelines (“World Health Organization”, 2018). For instance, when wound-dressing a patient with a communicable disease, they must ensure they use gloves which should be disposed of immediately after attending to the infected patient. This will help in protecting themselves as well as other patients from getting the infection.

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