Free «Emerging illnesses» Essay Sample

Hepatitis B is an infectious diseases caused by hepatitis virus which infects the liver of hominidea, this includes man and it causes an inflammation called hepatitis. Long ago the disease had caused epidemics in Asia and in many parts of Africa; currently the disease is an endemic in china. About a third of the total world population is infected by the hepatitis virus. Over two billion people in which three fifty million of this infected people are carriers. Transmission of this virus results from any exposure to infectious blood or bloody fluid. Acute illness causes liver inflammation, vomiting, jaundice and rarely death. Chronic hepatitis B may actually result to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. Since it's a fatal disease it has little response to modern chemotherapy but it's preventable through vaccines. The virus hepatitis B is a hepadnavirus. It has a circular genome composed of partially double strands DNA. The virus replicates through an RNA intermediate form by reserve transcription to this respect they are seen to be like retroviruses. Their replication takes place in the liver but the virus spreads to the blood where virus-specific proteins and antibodies are found in infected people. Blood test from this infected people is used to diagnose infected people. The vaccine for hepatitis is given in three shots; all kids should be given this vaccine although also older people can get these vaccines.

In the case of hepatitis and the AIDs epidemic, according to the fight for an OSHA blood borne pathogens standard, many group of works are exposed to the risk of this virus due to the workplace exposure to blood. The United States introduced a blood borne occupational safety to protect workers from risks that pose the risk of acquiring the virus. The employers had to bear the expenses of this protective the while the workers were compelled to use this gear. The united stated labor movement used the occupational safety and health administration to sensitize their members that hepatitis B was responsible for deaths caused from un protected exposure and they used the ailment AIDS to frighten people that the danger was real and the deaths were killed by hepatitis not AIDS although AIDS was a potential risk they would be exposed to if they were not protected. The union through OSHA petitioned a number of demands to issue in parliament including the standard for blood borne pathogens. A standard as opposed to the guidelines set out to legally enforce employers to meet the set standard to an order to maintain safety in the workplace. The previous guidelines left the workers with no legal means of compelling the employer to provide better working standards. The employer was compelled to take the standards as mandatory rather than as a precaution.

This was later disputed and OSHA had to appeal to the high court where it argued that the parties did not prove significant risk and could be feasibly averted. The court concluded that a risk of one for everyone million people did not warrant a true danger to the employee, and could not cause the government to intervene. The organization OSHA had conducted research into the numbers and had found that for the working age of 45, for every 1000 people who are working 83 to 113 would become infected with hepatitis B, 21 to 30 would need hospitalization, 4 to 12 of those that are clinically ill will become chronic carriers. One to three if this will become chronically ill and over all 2 or 3 will die of hepatitis B. regardless of the fact that there is a great deal of medical and scientific literature about hepatitis B, showing the high risk of morbidity and molarities was higher than one for every 1000, the same could not be said for AIDs. OSHA couldn't even try to make a qualitative risk factor assessment using the AIDS data, they made a quantitative one and surely AIDS could not support a broad standard and it could have given raise to a narrower standard aimed at a specific group. Most people have misunderstood the role of the two diseases in the rule making process and have seen the standard as standard as primarily aimed at AIDS, which is not. OSHA found widespread agreement among the respondents that hepatitis B was a danger that needs to be combated. According to the universal precautions, all blood that was found to be contaminated had to be treated and that of AIDS should be discarded. The hepatitis vaccine should be given freely in hospitals; the hepatitis vaccines could not solve the problem because the employers would be mandated to offer free vaccine to at risk workers. Many employees would not take advantage of the offer. Through the vaccine was safe and effective and a significant number of people would remain vulnerable to infection, the hepatitis could not be used to cure an AIDS or any other blood borne pathogens. Only hepatitis B vaccination combined with universal precautions would do the job.

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In the bucking the health establishment article Alexander Milne and the fight for New Zealand hepatitis B immunization program. The various ways that the unions fought to ensure that the workers get adequate protection from the virus are discussed. In order to successfully combat a disease is required that their exist an individual or group of individual willing to champion the disease by arguing that it is serious enough to warrant the expenditure of scarce resources. In the case of hepatitis B, such individuals are found outside the public health sector have been mandated to play this role. In New Zealand this task was left to an extra ordinary man, Alexander who single handedly forced a reluctant government to acknowledge the threat and act to contain it.

He accomplished this by applying his research skills and applying unrelenting political pressure generated by appeals to the public by means of mass media. Alexander Milne demonstrated the vital role of that the concerned citizen can make even in an age of timid bureaucracies. Hepatitis is the most wide spread viral disease in the world. Hepatitis is the disease that affects billions of people and kills, through its sequelae of cirrhosis and cancer of the liver, between 2 million people a year. Nevertheless, its very existence was long unsuspected even after scientist discovered it destructive powers, there was lack of people willing to committee its self to its eradication, despite the speedy development of a safe and effective vaccine. There have been various obstacles that have affected the fight against the disease and this included the lack of a group that was well organized concerned with the virus and little could be done to energetically combat the growing epidemic. They needed individuals willing to educate the general public about the effects of the disease and probably entice them to follow a more aggressive approach. The proof that a more aggressive approach and activist stance need to take place in New Zealand is that one man decided that fighting the hepatitis pandemic is more important than obeying the rule of decorum. This is the key in being a key player and saving lives he had no choice but to risk everything. Alexander started from humble beginnings before working his way into the health sector where he could present his findings about the disease and be able to voice his concern about the disease.

The first attribute that was noticed about Alexander is his quick perceptive mind, the second thing was his cast iron will and sense of morality. He is a true son of the Scottish reformation; there is no relativism in him. He finally ended up as a technologist in a hospital laboratory in Whakatane, a small town in the bay of plenty. Alexander conducted research of the mode of transmission of the dieses among various functions of the society and mainly kids and in conjunction with various scientists they come up with various worrying conclusions about how the disease spreads in the society. The found that school kids were the best predators for this disease as they could easily get infected by the other kids that may be infected. From direct observation contact with blood, exudates from skin lesions and saliva of another child could easily occur, sharing food at school was very common and taking bites from hard fruits and drinking from other people's drinks are a common occurrence in school community. The saliva spit on surfaces and others such as dried blood were also found on the surfaces such that it was concluded that this areas are high risk areas. His proposal was aimed at vaccinating the school kids such that they could be free from the hepatitis virus. The government was opposed to this idea claiming that it could not afford this exercise and this idea had to be dropped. Alexander and his team later researched on another low dose that could fit the governments' budget and he was financed by local sources. This was the break through to Alexander's research.

In the case of individual rights vs. the public health, the problem of the Asian hepatitis B carries in America, the situation of the Asians immigrants in America has been discussed and the various problems they encountered and how they dealt with them. The influx of refugees and immigrants into America provided the public health sector with many problems; the carriers posed a significant risk in the infection of the greater community. The main concern was the number of kids that would get infected while in day care centers, because of their age of exposure and the risk of developing chronic carrier ship; this is related to cirrhosis of the liver in later life. It was seen that the Asian community presented a moral and a health dilemma. Faced with this the authorities opted to protect the promised the health workers and the community that there was no risk associated with the disease or the risk was easily preventable without any medical evidence to support such a statement in order to prevent the community to develop a racism attitude towards the immigrants. The authorities made a grief mistake as this put the general pubic in the risk of being exposed to the virus which later sparked a wide range of riot and the racism that they tried to avoid. This led to programmers that focused on vaccination of mothers and new born babies to combat the virus. The authorities also vaccinated the refugees in the camps and made sure the immigrants who want to visit the country are vaccinated or provide documentation of their vaccination. They also enticed the community to adopt kids but they were reluctant because they feared adopting a kid that's not healthy due of the carrier symptoms such as liver cirrhosis and probability of cancer.

In conclusion, the essay looks into various persons in the community individual and as an organization to combat the epidemic of hepatitis B as one of the ailments in the early community to cause deaths and suffering. Their efforts in the community and how they fort hard for the right to protect the workers from this virus by threatening legal action to those employers who didn't provide their workers with adequate protection against the disease, to the various research and presentations to proof that the threat was real. The authorities that also acted on the various attempt by people and accepted to incorporate the vaccine into its budget as the only was to prevent the virus are also recognized. The comparison with the AIDS virus has also been discussed and the question bout their similarity evaluated. All the new born should be vaccinated to ensure total eradication of the disease in every community.


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