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Healthy People 2020: Influenza in New York City

            Influenza is commonly referred to as flu and an infectious respiratory disease caused by influenza virus. Among the common characteristics of the disease include sore throat, running nose, high fever, and headache among others. There three categories of influenza and are spread through coughing and sneezing. The best method to stop the spread of the disease is through hand washing. In New York City (NYC), influenza is common seasonal lung infection that is common during the fall and winter. Every year, influenza accounts for about 2,000 fatalities among the residents of NYC. That statistics indicates that influenza is a dangerous disease that is mainly controlled through vaccination. This essay evaluates the epidemiological and surveillance data of influenza in NYC while taking into consideration the healthy people 2020 initiative by the government.

            It is important to begin by considering the surveillance data of influenza in New York City. According to the NYC Influenza Information report (2015), between September 2014 and August 2015, the highest cases of influenza were  reported between in weeks around December 29, 2014 and January 28, 2015, where almost 500 cases of influenza were reported.  The lowest cases of influenza or influenza related illness were reported on April 28, 2015, where there were less than 100 cases. The results are further produced in regards clinic visits of three population that encompass children aged between 0 and 4 years, 05 and 17 years, and 18 and 64 years. The information revealed that the youngest population, i.e., those aged 0-5 months had reported the highest number of clinic visit to be diagnosed for influenza related illness. That was followed by those aged between 5 and 17 years and the least group that reported least number of clinic. Among youngest population, they were most vulnerable in weeks December 29, 2014. Those aged between 5 and 17 years reported most hospital visits in week around January 18, 2015. However, among the oldest group, their visits to the hospital were evenly distributed between the period running from September 30, 2014 to August 25, 2015. Thus, it is in the highest period of infection when most cases of infection were reported.

            Based on the information gotten from the NYC Influenza Information report, it is apparent that Healthy People 2020 need to employ its policies to address the problem of influenza. This is based on the fact that infants, whose immunity is yet to develop are most vulnerable. Since influenza is an immunization and infectious disease, the objective of Healthy People 2020 is increase the prevalence of immunization rates. This will be coupled with laying strategies to cut the rate of infectious diseases that can be prevented. This is after the healthcare policy makers realized that during the 20th century life expectancy can only be increased through enhancing the lives of the infants. Thus, through increment of child survival rates through immunization and reduction of mortality rates, then life expectancy can increase. More so, management of infectious diseases such as influenza is the only way to manage pronounced cases of disability, illness, and death. Besides Influenza, Healthy People 2020 recommends that immunization is the only way to address 16 others diseases that can be prevented through immunization (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2015).

            In efforts to achieve the objective of Healthy People 2020, evidence based approaches will be employed during the immunization process. The process works closely with the community activities along with services meant to treat and prevent the infectious diseases. The objectives Healthy People 2020 aims at use of technological advancement that will guarantee strong partnership between non-governmental organizations, local healthcare providers, states, and counties in efforts to ensure that the infectious diseases are controlled and their spread limited. Thus, the Healthy People 2020 will ensure that spread of some infectious diseases does not remain an issue within some geographical regions through creation of a more mobile community. People will be made aware about the prevalence of the disease and the best approach to reduce infections, enhance treatment of the infection, and prevent future infections.

            Healthy People 2020 consider immunization against the infectious diseases a noble thing because the citizens of the United States of America continue to get diseases that can be prevented through immunization. Among the preventable diseases that can be prevented through immunization include tuberculosis, influenza, and viral hepatitis. These diseases continue to among leading causes of death and illness in US. In addition, a substantial amount of US budget is spent treating these diseases. Within the United States of America, local, and state level, there is a health infrastructure that carries out surveillance and the spread of infectious diseases. The infrastructure is critical in monitoring new, and re-emerging infectious diseases. Healthy People 2020 also notes other infectious disease through effective employment of vaccines, testing and screening, antibiotics, and scientific enhancement of treatment of infectious diseases related complications.

            The Healthy People 2020 further postulates that the best health indicators entails the clinical preventive procedures. The clinical preventive procedures entails scheduled immunization and screening against all the diseases, both communicable and non-communicable diseases. The procedures are in a position detect and prevent diseases and illness. Through detection during the early stages, the diseases or illness can be managed before they become incurable. Early treatment is critical in reducing the probability of disability, medical care costs, and untimely deaths. Although the services are covered by private insurance plans, Medicaid and medicare through the Affordable care Act, most of the United States of America citizens ignore the preventive measures. The preventive measures can help in early detection and management of some conditions before they worsen. For example, according to Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2011), although it is apparent the most effective criterion to prevent colorectal cancer is by beginning screening at the age of 50 years, only 25% of the citizens begin to be screened at that age (Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2015).

            Through the leading health indicators, clinical procedures and services enable people to live better through saving life. More so, scientific based approaches can be employed in saving financial resources and enhance provision of good qualities of healthcare. Through that, people can be aided in prevention of unnecessary procedures and tests. The clinical preventive procedures and services can prevent death, disease, and disability.

            In conclusion, Health People 2020 is a great approach that is defined by the government to enhance the health of the citizens through use of different approaches. In regards to the people of New York City, the spread of communicable disease such as influenza can be controlled through the application of the Healthy People 2020 approach. This is because the Healthy People 2020 has well defined criterion to address different health issues. Through the Healthy People 2020, infectious diseases such as influenza will become history. The infants, who are most vulnerable will have an improved healthcare and will have a prolonged life. The government approach of this strategy is aimed at preventing and controlling the spread of infectious diseases. It is unfortunate that many people continue to die of preventable diseases yet there are strategies that have been established. People to need to employ the strategies put in place that includes screening and immunization in order to enhance better health. The better health is guaranteed by early detection of diseases or early prevention of communicable diseases.

 

 

References

Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently Asked Questions About Colorectal Cancer. Atlanta, GA: 2011. from http://www.cdc.gov/cancer/colorectal/basic_info/faq.htm#6

NYC Influenza Information. (2015). Surveillance Data. Retrieved from http://www.nyc.gov/html/doh/flu/html/data/data.shtml.

Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. (2015). Health People 2020. Retrived from http://www.healthypeople.gov/2020/topics-objectives/topic/immunization-and-infectious-diseases/objectives.