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Descriptive and Analytical Epidemiology: Tuberculosis in Pennsylvania Essay

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Updated: Jul 12th, 2021

The danger of acquiring tuberculosis has been proven not only by numerous historical references but also by real cases of registering this disease in recent history. Today, when the medicine is developed sufficiently, a significantly smaller number of patients are at risk. However, according to the subject of descriptive epidemiology, there is no complete guarantee that this ailment will be completely eradicated, and statistical indicators prove this assumption. As an example, the spread of tuberculosis in Pennsylvania will be considered and based on the data obtained, key causes will be given, as well as hypotheses regarding the methods of prevention.

Distribution of Tuberculosis in Pennsylvania

To obtain a comprehensive picture of the issue, it is necessary to identify the main categories of the population at risk. Since descriptive epidemiology studies not only the causes of certain diseases but also their implications for a specific environment, it is essential to determine groups under threat (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 2012). Over the past year, in Pennsylvania, 212 cases of tuberculosis infection were recorded, while in 2017, this figure was 192 (“CDC reports 2018,” 2019, para. 1). Such statistical results are alarming, and a more detailed analysis is necessary. According to the study conducted by Lande et al. (2019), in 2010-2012, the most susceptible category of the population to Mycobacterium avium infection, which is known for its anti-tuberculosis resistance, included people over 80. At the same time, white residents were much more prone to the illness than black, and such variables as smoking or the presence of lung diseases did not have a significant role (Lande et al., 2019). These findings prove that tuberculosis is an extremely dangerous and unpredictable disease that can be transmitted either by infected people or indirectly, for instance, through the water supply.

Recommendations to the Administrator

One of the main recommendations is the need to test the population at risk for infection regularly. Also, permanent water samples should be taken to prevent the ingress of pathogenic bacteria into the overall system. Lande et al. (2019) describe the cases of infection transmitted in such a way, which is a reason for vigilance. Preventive work should be done both with older adults and young people to promote knowledge concerning health safety.

Types of Epidemiologic Study Designs

As a theoretical background for researching and solving the problem of tuberculosis infection, special epidemiological study designs may be applied. Ghebrehewet, Cleary, Kliner, and Wilkinson (2016) note that there are such mechanisms as “descriptive, observational, or experimental designs” (p. 240). Each of the principles has its nuances and can be utilized by healthcare employees to identify such essential features as the causality and frequency of the spread of the disease. Ghebrehewet et al. (2016) also state that descriptive studies constitute the largest category and may be used both at an individual and group level. Therefore, in the considered state, this technique is the most relevant.

Conclusion

Due to statistical analysis, it can be noted that the epidemiology of tuberculosis in Pennsylvania is at its progressive stage, and additional efforts need to be made to reduce the risk. The causes of the transmission of the disease may be different, and continuous testing of the population along with water sampling is mandatory measure. Among the available epidemiological study designs, the descriptive methodology is the most appropriate for the chosen state.

References

(2019). Web.

Centers for Disease and Control Prevention. (2012). Principles of epidemiology in public health practice (3rd ed.). Atlanta, GA: US Department of Health and Human Services.

Ghebrehewet, S., Cleary, P., Kliner, M., & Wilkinson, E. (2016). Conducting epidemiological studies in health protection. In S. Ghebrehewet, A. G. Stewart, D. Baxter, P. Shears, D. Konrad, & M. Kliner (Eds.), Health protection: Principles and practice (pp. 240-252). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.

Lande, L., Alexander, D. C., Wallace Jr, R. J., Kwait, R., Iakhiaeva, E., Williams, M.,… Falkinham J. O. (2019). Mycobacterium avium in community and household water, suburban Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, 2010-2012. Emerging Infectious Diseases, 25(3), 473-481. Web.

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IvyPanda. (2021) 'Descriptive and Analytical Epidemiology: Tuberculosis in Pennsylvania'. 12 July.

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