Health Disparities In Public Health

1161 Words 5 Pages
Public health concerns involve communities within populations that experience certain health disparities and focus on specific health issues or illnesses. Community-acquired pneumonia or CAP for short is a common infectious disease in elderly (and communities with specific health disparities) that is responsible for substantial morbidity and mortality (Thiem et al, 2011). Health disparities are preventable illnesses that are common in some socially and economically disadvantaged communities (CDC, 2015). Within these disparities are specific health determinants that are also factors to be considered when evaluating from the public health perspective. Contributors to these disparities are often poverty, environmental issues/threats; lack of …show more content…
What is taking place in the nursing home community that is causing such high prevalence of CAP? Poor quality of life, asthma, immunosuppression and bedridden patients are assumed to be of greatest risk (Loeb, 1999). Many elderly adults smoke cigarettes, while this is the strongest risk factor for young individuals with pneumococcal disease, it is likely that it could be the same for elderly adults. Community living situations generally have a large amount of people in poor health that gather together frequently. Those with immunosuppression are at a high risk of acquiring an infection that forms into pneumonia with their inability to fight the infection (Loeb, 1999). In addition to biological factors, environmental factors are huge contributors. In the winter months the confinement to the indoors can cause an increase in spread of infection, the influenza virus for example is prevalent in the winter, thus making people with already suppressed immune systems even more susceptible to CAP (NCCLS, 1999). According to “Up to Date Journal of Medicine” (2015), it is important to distinguish between CAP and HCAP (hospital acquired pneumonia) as the treatment approach is drastically different. HCAP is associated with a higher risk of multi-drug resistant pathogens (Up to Date, 2015). CAP can be treated successfully in an outpatient setting; severity of illness will determine the necessity for hospitalization and which antibiotics should …show more content…
Collaboration with health care providers, public health officials and government officials should provide some sort of prevention and education. Promotion, education and information is vital in these situations, family and loved-ones of these elderly must be involved in their care and aware of the risk associated with CAP and elderly in community settings. Community-acquired pneumonia is preventable; it should not be as widespread and communicable as it is. Public health providers have the responsibility of researching, exposing and proposing a plan of

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