Influenza Epidemiology in North Africa

Synopsis

The research analysis encompasses the effects of influenza vaccine in North Africa in 2005-2009.The study stresses the significance of the research by describing its global scale and the rapid pace if development. According to the study details, both the analysis of the patients’ records and the use of nasal swabs were considered as the primary data collection tools. The research results indicate that there has been an increase from 3.4% to 5.1% occurrence of influenza-type diseases in North Africa throughout 2005-2009. The study results show that there has been no major effect of the use of seasonal influenza vaccine in the target area. Furthermore, the development of the appropriate response (i.e., production of antibodies) was not registered in the participants aged 50 and older.

Background

Rationale for the Study

Even though influenza might seem not quite threatening compared to other epidemics, it, in fact, has a significant death toll. Because of the variations and subtypes, as well as different challenges that they pose, there is a need to focus on improving the existing strategies for managing the epidemics efficiently (Lai et al., 2016). Thus, the authors of the study explore the nature of influenza and similar types of viruses.

Exposure and Disease: Connection

There is a direct connection between the exposure to influenza and the development of the disease. Influenza, including all its variations, is airborne and, therefore, is highly contagious. Thus, the speed of the disease development increases once the target population is exposed directly to it.

Methods

Epidemiological Data Collection

Patients’ records were used as the means of gathering the information required for the research. Thus, the foundation for comparing the outcomes in vaccinated and unvaccinated patients could be built. A total of five cases per week was considered to produce the data for the further analysis.

Nasal Swabs

Apart from viewing patients’ records as the primary source of the relevant data collection, the authors of the study used nasal swabs to retrieve the necessary information about the epidemiology of influenza among the target population members. The use of transportation on ice with the help of the viral transport medium should be deemed as a rather efficient way of keeping the relevant evidence safe and, thus, creating the foundation for a detailed and accurate analysis.

Results

Results Description

According to the research outcomes, the A(HY1N1) influenza type was observed primarily among younger population types, whereas seasonal influenza was a more common occurrence among older members of the target population. The vaccine coverage levels were relatively high only the representatives of the older generation (50-year-olds and older), whereas the younger groups tended to be more reluctant toward the use of vaccinations,

Furthermore, the efficacy of vaccinations, especially as far as the prevention of the seasonal influenza type, can be deemed as questionable. The problems in the application of the vaccination strategy can be explained by the unwillingness of the target population to participate in the vaccination process.

Results and the Hypothesis

The outcomes of the study align with the initial hypothesis concerning the lack of efficacy in managing the issues associated with the management and prevention of influenza. Particularly, the authors emphasize that a problem in addressing the problems associated with different types of influenza is suspected in the North African area. The results of the study, therefore, support the initial hypothesis and make it clear that an intervention is due. Otherwise, the needs of the North African population will not be met, which means that the death toll among the identified demographics is bound to rise significantly (Nsthoe et al., 2014).

Further Studies

While the study provides extensive information regarding the coverage of seasonal and pandemic types of influenza, a further analysis of the problem must be carried out. Particularly, the strategies for increasing vaccination coverage among the residents of North Africa, as well as developing more efficient data collection tools that will help deliver more accurate results should be the focus of a follow-up study. Thus, the foundation for addressing the needs of the target population can be built.

Discussion

Reasons for Choosing the Article

Influenza as an imminent threat to people’s health is often overlooked, which seems unreasonable. The disease affects people’s immune system and may be lethal unless managed properly. Therefore, a detailed analysis of how the problem handled as an epidemic seems quite engaging and important to analyze.

Article Assessment: A Personal Opinion

The study seems to be well constructed and perfectly focused. While it cannot be deemed as an all-embracing analysis, it accomplishes what it claims to do from the very start. As a result, the foundation of the further improvements in the identified area are created, which is an essential improvement of nursing service quality.

Strengths and Weaknesses: Assessment

The use of the patients’ records along with the information retrieved from the analysis of swabs taken from the research participants allows for a more detailed analysis of the problem. Therefore, the specified twofold approach to collecting the relevant data can be viewed as one of the key advantages of the study. It serves as the foundation for a detailed evaluation of the vaccination strategy based on both records and actual evidence retrieved from the swab analysis (Latorre-Margalef et al., 2014).

However, the study also has its problems. For instance, the fact that not all members of the target population were successfully included in the research should be mentioned among the key problems. Because of the identified concern, the veracity of the study results has dropped slightly. Nevertheless, the study can be deemed as important in addressing the issue of influenza among North American people since it points to some of the evident problems and suggests the tools for managing them.

References

Lai, S., Qin, Y., Cowling, B. J., Ren, X., Wardrop, N. A., Gilbert, M.,… Yu, T. H. (2016). Global epidemiology of avian influenza A H5N1 virus infection in humans, 1997–2015: a systematic review of individual case data. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 6(7), 108-118. Web.

Latorre-Margalef, N., N., Tolf, C., Grosbois, V., Avril, A., Bengtsson, D., Wille, M.,… Waldenstrom, J. (2014). Long-term variation in influenza A virus prevalence and subtype diversity in migratory mallards in northern Europe. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1781), 20140098. Web.

Nsthoe, G. M., McAnerney, J. M., Tempia, S., Blumberg, L., Moyes, J., Buys, A.,, … Cohen, C. (2014) Influenza epidemiology and vaccine effectiveness among patients with influenza-like illness, viral watch sentinel sites, South Africa, 2005–2009. PLoS ONE 9(4), e94681. Web.