Discussion: NURS 4115 Nurses Working to Prevent Disease at Home
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2016), a vaccination has not been found to prevent the Zika virus, a disease that has been transmitted to humans through mosquito bites from mosquitoes that are most active during the day. Zika has been found in many countries around the globe, and its range is expanding. The symptoms of Zika are generally mild, last about a week, and include fever, rash, joint pain, and/or conjunctivitis. Symptoms are generally so mild that many victims will not know they have been infected, but about 20% of those individuals who are bitten will develop Zika. The most concerning symptom of Zika affects pregnant women, whose babies may develop microcephaly.
In general, the CDC (2016) has recommended that people wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outside and apply insect repellant beforehand to avoid getting bitten. People who possibly have been infected with the Zika virus are urged to use a condom during sexual contact to avoid spreading the virus to others. In fact, some countries, such as El Salvador, have recommended that women avoid pregnancy for the next two years (The New York Times, 1/25/16). The CDC has also recommended that any vessels or containers of open water be protected from access to mosquitoes so that breeding cycles are disrupted. Brazil has begun a massive campaign to stop mosquitoes from accessing breeding grounds by closing their access to water collection systems and other sources of standing or still water. Could something like the Zika virus begin in your neighborhood?
In this Discussion, you will examine your neighborhood through the eyes of the public health nurse or a nurse epidemiologist.
To prepare for this Discussion:
Walk around a two-block radius near where you live or work.
Look to see if you can spot any areas where mosquitoes may reproduce. These sites may include abandoned tires, rainwater collection systems that have been installed at homes, parks or golf courses, low sections at roadsides or near sidewalks, and the like. You may include pictures of sites that you find to enhance your discussion thread.
Note any positive or negative findings that you observe. Have steps been taken to prevent mosquito breeding?
Find out what your community health department does for mosquito abatement.
Discover who in your community you would contact to report deficiencies/negative findings.
Determine what you can do, as a PHN, to change policy to reduce mosquito breeding grounds in your neighborhood.
By Day 3
Post your findings regarding mosquito breeding grounds in a two-block radius near where you live or work. Include any preventative strategies you can see that are already in place. Report on the role your local health department plays in mosquito abatement and to whom you would report negative findings. Then, describe your role as a BSN in changing policy to ensure a healthier climate (reduced mosquito breeding grounds) in your neighborhood.
Support your response with references from the professional nursing literature.