Currently, I live in Florida, USA. My city is Miami; its zip code is 33193. Both epidemiological and surveillance data related to the population of my city and state can be found on several websites of authoritative healthcare organizations. For example, the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (2014) provides a list of communicable illnesses that affected a lot of citizens. According to it, many people suffer from diseases that can be transmitted sexually or by animals.
Taking into account this information, it was considered that the illnesses discussed in this assignment should represent various ways of communication so that the data obtained during the survey reveals the current health situation from different perspectives. Based on a range of communicable illnesses identified by the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County brucellosis, gonorrhea, and Lyme disease were selected. These illnesses can be easily transmitted, which makes them critical problems for many populations. Various health organizations that operate in Miami are constantly occupied in monitoring activities that allow them to implement initiatives to control the situation.
They focus on making the information about these diseases available for the representatives of the general public and maintain preventive interventions such as vaccination. Healthcare professionals encourage the population to get interested in the transition of illnesses and their prevention so that people can protect themselves and prevent possible communication. The website of Miami County Public Health (2016) also assists in this process greatly. It provides information on the clinics where people can receive required treatment without leaving Miami. In addition to that, it shows the public the way it is willing to enhance the overall health of the city, identifying the main goals for improvement.
Sexually transmitted diseases are a great health issue that is faced by the whole world, and the USA is not an exception. It is critical that “there are approximately 20 million new sexually transmitted diseases infections each year – almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24” (Healthy People 2020, 2016, par. 4). Gonorrhea is one of them. It can be communicated while having sex with a person who already has it or during childbirth. In 2015, professionals estimated that 98 cases of gonorrhea are found per each 100,000 population only in Miami-Dade (Miami Matters, 2016).
Even though both males and females can be infected, women tend to have more severe complications after it. This issue is critical because individuals who do not receive treatment can communicate it to others so that even more citizens will be affected. Then, it can lead to various complications and permanent health issues such as infertility, pelvic/abdominal pain, ectopic pregnancy, etc. Still, Healthy People 2020 (2016) pays much attention to such illnesses and emphasizes the necessity of screening, behavioral counseling, vaccination, and immunization as the main interventions needed to improve the current situation.
Lyme disease is a health issue that is not well-known to the population of Miami but can affect any of its representatives. It is caused by a bacterium and communicated through the bite of a tick. In the USA, more than 27,000 confirmed cases of Lyme disease were identified three years ago. Only in Florida, on average about 65 individuals get infected. The Florida Department of Health indicates that almost 80% of them revealed those situations when a person was bitten while traveling (Florida Health, 2016b). Still, it does not mean that the part of the population that stays at home is safe. A tick can be accidentally brought to the city so that it can infect other individuals also.
This situation is critical for Miami because healthcare professionals do not usually expect a patient to have a disease that is not very common in this territory. Thus, the right diagnosis can be made in the later stages of the disease, which increases the possibility of serious complications. It is also critical that Lyme disease is not discussed by Healthy People 2020, which means that not so much attention is paid to it (Leland, 2012).
The citizens considered that this illness is severe enough to be discussed in this framework that is why they started sharing their stories on the website of Healthy People 2020 four years ago. Unfortunately, their actions did not lead to the expected outcome yet. Still, the representatives of the general public received more opportunities to find information on Lyme disease and prevent it. Even though Healthy People 2020 tend to provide the population with better access to healthcare services and educate them in general, it is not enough. Thus, the Florida Department of Health also encourages the citizens to check for ticks regularly to ensure their safety (Florida Health, 2016b).
Brucellosis is one more disease that is transmitted by animals. It is caused by a bacterium and communicated by hogs. This bacterium, Brucella, is not found in Miami, which means that the population and healthcare personnel do not expect to face any cases of it. This disease is rare not only in the city but in the whole state, as only 10 patients with it were diagnosed in 2008. Still, those people who travel to other countries, especially developing ones, may get infected there and return home not realizing what has happened.
As a rule, people with brucellosis are hunters because they are the ones who interact with wild pigs or prepare their meat. Just as Lyme disease, brucellosis is not considered in the framework of Healthy People 2020. In addition to that, it is hardly discussed by healthcare professionals who work in Miami. The lack of knowledge leads to an increased number of people infected because they are not aware of the transmission peculiarities and are not taking precautions.
For this reason, almost 100 laboratory workers got brucellosis several years ago, which proved that the disease can easily spread throughout the city even if only one person falls ill. Being aware of this fact and trying to protect the representatives of the general public, the Florida Department of Health encourages hunters to practice good sanitation and guides laboratories for them to know how to act in case of brucellosis (Florida Health, 2016a).
Thus, it can be concluded that the population of Miami deals with a wide range of diseases that are communicated in different ways. Healthcare organizations that operate to protect people from this city try to provide them with the most necessary information about the illnesses for them to be ready to take care of themselves and prevent possible complications. Unfortunately, Healthy People 2020 do not address some illnesses that concern the population for now. Still, the citizens tend to take the initiative in their hands, which means that future improvement is likely to be observed.
Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County. (2014). Reportable diseases/conditions in Florida. Web.
Florida Health. (2016a). Brucellosis. Web.
Florida Health. (2016b). Lyme disease. Web.
Leland, D. (2012). Touched by Lyme. Web.
Healthy People 2020. (2016). Sexually transmitted diseases. Web.
Miami County Public Health. (2016). Web.
Miami Matters. (2016). Gonorrhea incidence rate. Web.