Clinical Knowledge of Flu and Epidemiology
A common practice suggests that the majority of people can be presented with a symptomatic presence of influenza, which is why clinicians' responsibility is confirmation and identification of these symptoms. A persistent evidence of symptoms usually arises within one or two days after infection. Fatigue, chilling, and even fever can be the first signs of infection. Further, body temperature elevates to 38 - 39C degrees. These and other evidence should be a sign for clinician intervention to make a related diagnosis and develop an intervention plan. It is informative to note that early diagnosis of influenza is increasingly pivotal, since strong complications can arise because of inappropriate/absent treatment.
Influenza is classified as RNA virus, which can obtain from three to five genera of Orthomyxoviridae family. Recently, three main groups of influenza viruses are distinguished: Influenzavirus A, Influenzavirus B, and Influenzavirus C. Differentiation of these viruses is a vital activity assigned to clinician scope of practice, since each group of viruses presupposes a respective intervention planning. As long as influenza penetrates human host environments and causes a rapid reaction of the organism on the external irritator, clinicians are also obliged to take initial preventive measures: prescription of medication and isolation regime, restriction to physical activity, etc. It is hard to argue that influenza is best approached at its early stages, which is why early reaction is the most important duty of practicing clinicians. Less studied and sophisticated forms of influenza, however, follow respectively complicated patterns of replication and establishment of viral connections. Such shifts are harder to prevent and differentiate from infections similar by their symptomatic evidence and structure. For instance, H1N1 virus requires a different approaching, so that clinicians are required to clearly recognize a form of influenza and apply respective intervention plan: medication prescription, setting limitations to physical activity, isolation recommendation, and prescription of antibiotics (in cases of severe forms of flu). To get back the subject of complicated forms of influenza, it is necessary to say that health researchers have to be involved in a constant investigation of these forms in terms of their epidemiology, pathophysiology, and potential ways of interventions applicable.
Almost 500, 000 virus particles are exposed to unaffected human environments when a host human coughs or sneezes. Influenza can be transmitted in three ways: direct via inhaling or contacting influenza virus particles, airborne route throughout cough and sneezing of already infected individual, and other mechanic contacts with non-hosted as well as hosted agents of the virus. Therefore, clinicians should participate as one of the central promoters of coughing etiquette and isolated treatment. This requirement is especially vital for highly sensitive environments such as clinical facilities. Meeting basic requirements of hygiene and protection outfit is a preexisting rule for practicing clinicians. The same activities are applicable to health managers, but from the perspective of methodological approaching: health managers have to design a complex framework for nursing practitioners, individual patients, and local communities in order to outline and control fundamental activities of hygiene and culture of health in regards to the virulent flu. It should be detailed guidelines about respiratory etiquette, hand hygiene, and recommendations for isolation during a treatment.
All in all, clinician as well as health manager (if needed or applicable) actions and interventions regarding virulent influenza should be as follows:
- Early diagnosis and initial intervention with prescription of medications;
- Engagement a patient in bed regime and restriction to physical activity. Recommendation for isolation from the relatives, neighbors, and the rest of local community during the treatment;
- Differentiation of influenza group and development of respective plan of intervention;
- Decision-making concerning prescription of antibiotics or other specific means of treatment provided that a patient is presented with a complicated form of influenza;
- Meeting basic hygiene and surveillance requirements as well as involving a patient in the same behaviors.
Treatment and Immunization/Healthy People Recommendations Based on Age
It is no surprise that vaccination is an important consideration for prevention and control of flu. Therefore, health managers and clinicians should be aware of all standards related to vaccination as well as restriction in case of possible allergic reaction. A contemporary vaccination includes trivalent and quadrivalent vaccine shots, which is why assignment of specific dosage is a duty of any health manager. Individuals with a history of egg allergy, however, are recognized as a risk group, so that vaccination of such citizens depends upon specific factors of each person. That is why clinicians and health managers should act according to federal standardization and apply extensive case investigation, provided that a patient is presented with suspicion for allergic reactions. A role of health managers should be not underestimated under these circumstances owing to the fact that a growing wave of the virulent flu is combined with individual cases of other diseases, which require acute care. Henceforth, active participation of health management is evidently needed for managing influenza treatment or prevention with consideration of specifics of a patient's health history.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that prevention of virus transmission is a key factor to infection control, and health manager interference is pivotal. Thus, a health manager should take respective preventive actions that are usually multi-step and complex, since ways of virus distribution are attached to social factor. To prevent and maximally reduce infection and spread of influenza particles within communities, healthcare managers are supposed to deploy core prevention strategies: administration of anti-influenza vaccine, fostering and education of local populations in regards to respiratory hygiene and etiquette, adequate management of infected health care provider performance, airborne transmission preventive control in relation to all patient-care activities, and deployment of environmental/engineering controls. Health managers are required to develop a custom framework based on specific location, population, type of influenzavirus, and pattern of its transmission. Health managers should follow aforementioned prevention strategies but adjust them to specific external factors.
Healthy People 2020 program promotes a view that individuals older than 65 are the most affected population, since mortality rate because of influenza reaches almost 90% among this population. This population is also exposed to combination of post-cancer diseases and increased severeness of influenza forms, which is why specific actions should be taken in that regard. This population will need to acquire a comprehensive prevention program, owing to the fact that factual treatment requires a more profound intervention and thus implications on a subsequent state of patients belonging to this population. Health researchers are encouraged to participate in investigation of possible strategies and interventions for such a vulnerable population, as existing interventions are insufficiently effective. Healthcare consultants should participate in recommending a choice and dosage of vaccination as well as suggest any preventive alternatives. It is crucial to remember that vaccination and drugs are not universal means of virus prevention and control, which is why active involvement of health consultants will diversify use of alternative prevention methods. In case a patient has been already admitted to care with some other disease and was additionally positively diagnosed for influenza, a health manager should be involved for provision of flexible and adequately balanced treatment plan, as combination of multiple interventions and related medications may adversely reflect on a patient's state.
Overall, health managers in cooperation with health consultants should follow such requirements as:
- Recognize standardization of influenza vaccination and assign respective vaccine shots individually to every single patient;
- Suggest alternative means of prevention and treatment in case a patient is allergic to vaccine or his/her health history presupposes a different intervention;
- Development of custom and well-balanced intervention plans for patients, who were diagnosed with influenza during treatment of other disease;
- Promotion of hand hygiene, respiratory etiquette, and general culture of health throughout advice, consultancy, and community leadership.
Infection Control Interventions for Public Communities
As it has become already apparent, vaccination is recognized as the most effective preventive intervention. Also, hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette are also crucial components of public health in that regard. That is why clinicians, health managers, consultants, and educators are expected to focus their related performance and behaviors of local populations towards such activities as:
- Public communication and promotion of vaccination;
- Emphasis on a immediate intervention for children cases of influenza and their respective restriction to school attendance;
- Early treatment of citizens with increased risk of influenza complications and development of custom intervention plans;
- Promotion of voluntary home isolation for preventing spread of the virus;
- Focus on high risk environments such as healthcare facilities, schools, public places, and other locations with increased vulnerability.
Since clinicians are usually responsible for serving factual intervention functions, health managers and researchers should be accordingly focused on objectives of surveillance and virus spread control, so that the following activities are also significant:
- distinguishing and observation of a stage, speed, and geographical location of a virus within a particular community;
- detection of outbreaks in environments with higher potential for virus spread and infection;
- a constant research and analysis of influenza epidemiology forms and its changes;
- measurement extents of influenza persistence and threat to a particular community or population within this community;
- identification and specification of distinct strains of influenza spreading within a certain location and community;
- investigation of resistance patterns of influenza strains present within a particular location, community, or population;
- provision of favorable conditions for a subsequent study, investigation, and testing aimed at enhancement of prevention, control, and treatment of a distinct strain of influenza.
As it has been already mentioned, spread of a virus can be attained throughout compliance with federal standards addressing transmission-based precautions. That is why all nursing subroles should comply with the standards that undertake such activities as regular wearing of protective uniform (and its frequent change), following respiratory/coughing etiquette, timely acknowledgement of healthcare personnel about a certain patient being infected, conducting basic clearing activities and provision of sufficient ventilation. Standardization for other public-based institutions, however, may vary, but the central focus towards appropriate respiration, hand hygiene, and other considerations of infection prevention is almost the same. Executive regulation of these standards is conducted by health managers, educators, and clinicians, once they interact with local populations on a regular basis. On a separate note, post-infection period is important to a full recovery and prevention of a subsequent spread of influenza particles, so that prophylaxis for patients recovered after influenza is an essential consideration. Taking these points into account, health managers, educators, and consultants can be involved in promotion of public awareness regarding this issue.
Since influenza is generally preventable and treatable disease, case investigation is usually limited to designation of environments that expose a person or group of people to higher risk of infection and spread of virus. As a consequence, health researchers should study pathophysiology and epidemiology of inluenzavirus, as long as understanding patterns of its replication and distribution will create a meaningful foundation for field research regarding protection of high risk environments as well as patient with a stronger vulnerability to the virus. Beyond a doubt, such investigation is a long term research, but appliance of recent findings can be deployed to practice under supervision of health consultants and practicing clinicians. However, design of interventions for such cases will be not a challenge, provided that communities are sufficiently educated about prevention and treatment of influenza.
Public Education Strategies
In spite of the fact basic attributes of culture of health are effective for prevention and control of influenza transmission, their factual comprehension by local population still leaves much to be desired. In such a way, education of masses should obtain a more institutionalized form, as many citizens do not follow basic guidelines of hygiene and culture of health. Hence, public health educators are obviously the main participators of that process. That is why they are expected to render not only basic knowledge concerning hygiene, cough etiquette, and factual treatment, but also insights on risk communication and mitigation, as it is a reasonable approach for public adherence in relation to establishment of sufficient knowledge and awareness about implications on hygiene and culture of health. Therefore, the first strategy for public education is a profound institutionalization of education and its close attachment to real-based risk management.
Another crucial consideration is a creation of strong public agenda based on sensitive awareness of implications related to public health education. Establishment of regularly performing public movement, digital community, and civil representative body will disseminate to-be-acquired knowledge in its natural form. Many community-driven healthcare organizations are attempting to implement their own policies and guidelines for administration and standardization of influenza vaccination/treatment/training procedures, but they often experience a strong governmental unwillingness to make these policies excessively flexible. That is why development of community-based body of representatives will reduce tension in legal aspect and provide a preexisting monitoring. These incentives can be suggested and promoted by public health educators as well as health consultants, managers, and clinicians.
Provided that communities need profound institutionalization and support of voluntary incentives, it is no surprise that the society needs a proactive diversification strategy to the same extent. Diversity of cultures, ethnicities, backgrounds, and other demographic components is applicable to public health, so that education regarding influenza control and prevention should be based on a diversified strategy: designation and dissemination of knowledge should follow patterns that adequately reflect a certain essence of a chosen population. Furthermore, creation of equal access to this knowledge is much more pivotal. It is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the fact that many ethnical and cultural diversities lack access to a culture of health at least in a framework of their identity. Henceforth, the third public health education strategy is supposed to render a sufficient and diversity-friendly form of knowledge. Such situation is largely determined with numerous societal disparities and controversy regarding affordability of healthcare expenses. Recognition of diversity is one of the basic nursing principles, which is why it has to be supported with all subroles: researchers, clinicians, educators, consultants, and managers. The matter is that interventions practiced by a clinician or advice provided by a consultant should contain instructional element, so that a patient can be aware of possible outcomes and activities required for prevention and full recovery after influenza. Public health education about the virulent flu is one of the most effective ways of disseminating knowledge to the publicity, but supplementary performance of other nursing subroles during their interventions, advice, or decision-making should also address implicit as well as explicit public health education needs.