Write a paper (2,000-2,500 words) in which you apply the concepts of epidemiology and nursing research to a communicable disease. Refer to “Communicable Disease Chain,” “Chain of Infection,” and the CDC website for assistance when completing this assignment. A minimum of three peer-reviewed or professional references is required. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required. Purchase the answer to view it

The epidemiology of communicable diseases has long been a subject of interest and research in nursing practice. Understanding the patterns, causes, and effects of such diseases is crucial in developing effective strategies for prevention, control, and treatment. This paper will apply the concepts of epidemiology and nursing research to a specific communicable disease – malaria.

Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease caused by the Plasmodium parasite. It is responsible for significant morbidity and mortality worldwide, particularly in tropical and subtropical regions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there were an estimated 229 million cases of malaria and 409,000 deaths in 2019 (WHO, 2021). Malaria is highly prevalent in sub-Saharan Africa, where the majority of cases and deaths occur.

To better understand the epidemiology of malaria, the chain of transmission needs to be examined. The communicable disease chain consists of six elements: infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host (Stanley, 2019). In the case of malaria, the infectious agent is the Plasmodium parasite, specifically Plasmodium falciparum, which accounts for the majority of severe and fatal cases. The reservoir is infected humans, who serve as a source of transmission to mosquitoes. The portal of exit is the mosquito bite, which allows the parasite to enter the mosquito’s bloodstream. The mode of transmission is through the bite of an infected mosquito, specifically the Anopheles mosquito. The portal of entry is the skin of a susceptible human host, where the parasite enters the bloodstream through the mosquito’s saliva. Finally, the susceptible host is an individual who lacks immunity to the parasite and is thus at risk of developing the disease.

Understanding the chain of infection is also crucial in addressing malaria. The chain of infection includes six links: infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host (CDC, 2021). The infectious agent, as mentioned earlier, is the Plasmodium parasite. The reservoir is infected humans, as well as infected mosquitoes. The portal of exit is the mosquito bite, while the mode of transmission is the bite of an infected mosquito. The portal of entry is the skin of a susceptible human host, and the susceptible host lacks immunity to the parasite.

To control the spread of malaria, various interventions have been implemented. One of the primary preventive measures is the use of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs). ITNs create a physical barrier between humans and mosquitoes, reducing the risk of mosquito bites and subsequent transmission of the parasite (Bhatt et al., 2015). Additionally, indoor residual spraying (IRS) with insecticides has proven effective in reducing mosquito populations and interrupting transmission (WHO, 2019). Other strategies include early diagnosis and treatment of infected individuals, intermittent preventive treatment in pregnant women, and vector control measures such as larval source management (Gething et al., 2010).

Nursing research plays a vital role in advancing the understanding of malaria epidemiology and developing evidence-based interventions. Research studies have explored various aspects, including the effectiveness of different preventive measures, the impact of socioeconomic factors on transmission, and the development of drug resistance. For example, a study by Eisele et al. (2016) assessed the impact of ITNs on child mortality in sub-Saharan Africa and found a significant reduction in mortality risk among children under five. This finding supports the effectiveness of ITNs in preventing malaria-related deaths.

Another area of nursing research focuses on the socioeconomic determinants of malaria transmission. Studies have shown that poverty, limited access to healthcare, and inadequate housing contribute to the persistence and spread of malaria (Korenromp et al., 2013). By understanding these underlying factors, interventions can be tailored to address the unique challenges faced by vulnerable populations at higher risk of malaria.

The emergence of drug-resistant strains of Plasmodium poses a significant challenge to malaria control. Nursing research has been crucial in monitoring the spread and impact of drug resistance and evaluating novel treatment approaches. For instance, a study by Ashley et al. (2018) examined the effectiveness of a new antimalarial drug, KAF156, against artemisinin-resistant parasites. The findings showed promising results, highlighting the potential for new treatment options to combat drug resistance.

In conclusion, understanding the epidemiology of communicable diseases such as malaria is essential in developing effective strategies for prevention, control, and treatment. The application of epidemiological concepts, such as the communicable disease chain and the chain of infection, helps in assessing the factors contributing to the transmission of the disease. Nursing research plays a significant role in advancing knowledge and evidence-based practice, addressing various aspects related to malaria, including preventive measures, socioeconomic determinants of transmission, and drug resistance. By combining epidemiology and nursing research, healthcare professionals can work towards reducing the burden of malaria and improving the health outcomes of affected populations.

References:

Ashley, E. A., Phyo, A. P., Woodrow, C. J. (2018). Malaria. The Lancet, 391(10130), 1608-1621.

Bhatt, S., Weiss, D. J., Cameron, E., et al. (2015). The effect of malaria control on Plasmodium falciparum in Africa between 2000 and 2015. Nature, 526(7572), 207-211.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (2021). The chain of infection. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/csels/dsepd/ss1978/lesson1/section11.html

Eisele, T. P., Larsen, D. A., Walker, N., et al. (2016). Estimates of child deaths prevented from malaria prevention scale-up in Africa 2001-2010. Malaria Journal, 15, 1-12.

Gething, P. W., Patil, A. P., Smith, D. L., et al. (2010). A new world malaria map: Plasmodium falciparum endemicity in 2010. Malaria Journal, 9, 1-30.

Korenromp, E. L., Hosseini, M., Newman, R. D., et al. (2013). Socio-economic determinants of malaria in Afghanistan: A hierarchical regression analysis. Malaria Journal, 12, 1-13.

Stanley, L. A. (2019). Epidemiology of communicable diseases. In B. M. Wheeler & K. M. Brion (Eds.), Primary care: Interprofessional collaborative practice (6th ed., pp. 120-144). Elsevier.

World Health Organization (WHO). (2021). Malaria. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/malaria

World Health Organization (WHO). (2019). Indoor residual spraying (IRS). Retrieved from https://www.who.int/malaria/areas/vector_control/indoor_residu…