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Communicable Diseases: Rubeola and Pertussis Coursework

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Updated: Jun 5th, 2022

Introduction

Whooping cough and measles, respectively known as pertussis and rubeola, are two infectious diseases that stand out due to high transmission rates. Vaccination, as a preventative measure, allows defending against such conditions, but the procedure nonetheless retains some specifics that pertain to different age groups. Examining rubeola and pertussis through certain cases allows not only solidifying knowledge of communicable diseases but also of the effects of immunization.

Rubeola

Humans communicate measles, as part of the airborne group of viruses, through daily interactions, not necessarily through direct physical contact. Thus, “direct contact with droplets from respiratory secretions of infected persons” as well as airborne routes effectively transmit rubeola (Gershon, 2015, p. 1968). Treating measles becomes possible by symptom identification, such as high fever, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, which are catalysts for disease transmission and are eventually joined by a body-covering rash (“Measles vaccination,” 2016). The incubation period for measles is 10-14 days, with transmission occurring from four days before to four days after rash development (“Measles vaccination,” 2016). Despite measles having few treatment options, healthcare professionals recommend hospitalization in the event of complications such as ear infections, pneumonia, or diarrhea (“Measles vaccination,” 2016). Therefore, rubeola is an ailment that is hard to defend against without immunization, exhibiting common cold signs before complication development.

Considering these complications, which may lead to the death of the assailed, vaccination becomes an essential step in disease prevention. An MMR vaccine successfully prevents measles, with immunization available for children, and the dose is dependent on the recipient’s age (Gershon, 2015). CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends “children get two doses of MMR vaccine,” the first one before 15 months old and the second before six years old (“Measles vaccination,” 2016, para. 2). ACIP explains the MMR vaccine as being safe and effective, with little to no complications and immunization benefits outweighing infection drawbacks (“Measles vaccination,” 2016). Thus, having understood rubeola’s contagiousness, the event of entrance into the US of an international traveler who happens to be a disease carrier puts unvaccinated individuals at risk, especially young children.

Pertussis

Whooping cough is a respiratory, bacteria-caused illness that may be apperceived by any individual since it is solely human-transmitted. Its symptoms are exhibited in a low fever and mild coughing that eventually transform into coughing fits, exhaustion, and vomiting, which contribute to high disease transferability (“Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination,” 2018). Pertussis may be spread as long as two weeks after the start of coughing symptoms and affect even vaccinated individuals, with an incubation period of 7-10 days (Waters & Halperin, 2015). Infants are susceptible to pertussis not only because of its high infectivity but also because they lack their own antibodies. Infection of children younger than three months must be countered with an assessment of the baby’s condition through apnea checks, hospitalization, and prescription of antibiotics, such as “azithromycin, administered 10/mg/kg/day” (Waters & Halperin, 2015, p. 2624). However, isolation from infected individuals and family-wide vaccination is an obvious recommendation, especially considering the complexity of diagnosing pertussis in infants due to them not exhibiting coughing symptoms.

Whooping cough is caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria taking root within human respiratory systems, thus creating a disease that is complicated to treat. ACIP, therefore, recommends vaccines for children such as “DTaP” (older than seven years old) and “Tdap” (younger), as their reactions rarely exceed common vaccination side effects. (“Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination,” 2018, para. 2-3). The National Childhood Vaccines Injury Act of 1986, nonetheless, standardizes vaccine administration through the provision of Vaccine Information Statements and feedback of effects through the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (Waters & Halperin, 2015). Thus, pertussis immunization becomes a standardized and secure medical procedure.

Conclusion

The prevention of airborne and human-transmitted diseases has become more accessible and available to the public. Thus, considering the high rate of infection of both, pertussis and rubeola their elimination from the US may be attributed to the widespread practice of vaccination. Regarding the guidelines created to support healthcare professionals and aimed at improving the patients’ well-being, such viruses may be ushered into non-existence within the US.

References

Gershon, A. A. (2015). Measles virus (rubeola). In J. Bennett, R. Dolin, & M. Blaser (Eds.), Principles and practice of infectious diseases (8th ed.) (Vol. 1) (pp. 1967-1974). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.

Measles vaccination. (2016). Web.

Waters, V., & Halperin, S. A. (2015). Bordetella pertussis. In J. Bennett, R. Dolin, & M. Blaser (Eds.), Principles and practice of infectious diseases (8th ed.) (Vol. 1) (pp. 2619-2629). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier.

Whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination. (2018). Web.

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IvyPanda. "Communicable Diseases: Rubeola and Pertussis." June 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/communicable-diseases-rubeola-and-pertussis/.

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IvyPanda. 2022. "Communicable Diseases: Rubeola and Pertussis." June 5, 2022. https://ivypanda.com/essays/communicable-diseases-rubeola-and-pertussis/.

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IvyPanda. (2022) 'Communicable Diseases: Rubeola and Pertussis'. 5 June.

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