Epidemiology: Malaria, AIDS, Hepatitis B in Miami

Malaria

Characterized with the presence of severe headaches and other changes related to the general condition, malaria is among the diseases responsible for numerous deaths, especially in developing countries. Despite that, this disease also affects people in wealthier countries, including the United States. After eradication, this disease reappeared in the country in the 1950s, but the cases of malaria became quite uncommon due to improved safety measures (Florida Health, 2015).

However, due to the way that malaria is transmitted, its incidence rates in the top immigrant cities such as Miami still need to be reduced. In the twenty-first century, the key outbreaks of malaria in Miami and other cities in Florida were documented in 2003 (eight cases) and 2012 (more than sixty cases) (Florida Health, 2015, para. 6). In both situations, the disease was identified due to unusual flu-like symptoms and the fact that all infected people had visited other countries recently.

Data

No recent outbreaks of the disease in Miami have been reported, but its risks are still higher than those in areas with a lower percentage of the immigrant population. With that in mind, a set of effective measures helping to prevent the importation and transmission of the disease and increase symptom awareness is required. According to the Healthy People 2020 initiatives (IID-1), vaccination should be among the key elements of infectious disease prevention (ODPHP, n.d.b).

Other parts of the plan that helped prevent further spread of malaria in the past and are still used include the provision of patient education concerning the use of repellents, protection from bites, and symptom recognition (Florida Health, 2015). The combination of the aforementioned measures is expected to significantly reduce the risks of malaria for people in Miami.

AIDS

AIDS belongs to the number of the most dangerous transmittable diseases that affect the work of the immune system. It is widespread in both developed and developing countries, which makes it one of the key causes of death worldwide. In the United States, the number of cities with increased HIV/AIDS rates includes Miami since the city is multinational and a large part of its population is presented by immigrants (Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, 2017).

According to the report prepared by the Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (2017), the number of new cases of AIDS in some age groups has increased since 2014, with the largest increase in people aged 30-34, 35-39, and 40-44 (p.1). In terms of ethnicity, people of Hispanic origin face the most significant risks – the number of new patients with AIDS among them has grown by almost 20% within the last four years (Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, 2017, p. 1). The disease was identified due to the reports of patients diagnosed with HIV and having abnormal general health symptoms of AIDS.

Data

In order to create an effective plan to prevent the further spread of the disease, it is necessary to consider the Healthy People 2020 initiatives and more specific data concerning high-risk categories in Miami. Based on a range of objectives from HIV-1 to HIV-23, the key focus areas in disease prevention include access to testing and HIV treatment, the use of barrier contraceptives in both heterosexual and homosexual couples, and involvement in behaviors that increase risks (ODPHP, n.d.a).

Apart from these general recommendations, the strategy used for disease prevention in Miami should include education for the most numerous population groups among people with AIDS. They are people of Hispanic origin, gay or bisexual men, and heterosexual women (Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County, 2017). Focusing on the reduction of high-risk behaviors in these groups, it will be possible to improve the general situation in the city.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B belongs to the number of liver diseases with dangerous consequences that are common in the United States. The disease being analyzed can be difficult to diagnose due to its specific flu-like symptoms that are not always obvious. According to the report by CDC (2015), Florida belongs to the number of states with the highest incidence levels of hepatitis B in the country. The number of hepatitis B cases in different cities in Florida has significantly increased since 2011, which is demonstrated in the mentioned document (CDC, 2015). Importantly, there are specific categories of people in Miami and other cities that are considered high-risk groups for the disease.

They include the Asian and Hispanic population, the users of injection drugs, homosexual men, recent immigrants, and those who travel on a regular basis (CDC, 2015). The worsening situation with the prevalence of hepatitis B was identified in Miami and Florida in general due to the results of lab tests and patient complaints related to unusual symptoms.

Data

The plan helping to prevent further spread of the disease in Miami should reflect relevant objectives from the Healthy People 2020 project and use the information on risk groups. According to IID-15, the objective proposed by ODPHP (n.d.b), the prevention of hepatitis B with the help of vaccination is especially important in such groups as patients undergoing hemodialysis, homosexual men, and people using injection drugs. Therefore, the plan should be focused on the prevention of high-risk behaviors such as unprotected sexual contacts and the use of infected needles for drug injection.

References

CDC. (2015). Surveillance for viral hepatitis – United States, 2015. Web.

Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County. (2017). HIV/AIDS surveillance: AIDS cases diagnosed from 2014 to 2016. Web.

Florida Health. (2015). Malaria. Web.

ODPHP. (n.d.a). HIV. Web.

ODPHP. (n.d.b). Immunization and infectious diseases. Web.