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Influenza has been one of the major causes of deaths in the United States since the beginning of the 20th century. In the period between 1918 and 1919, the disease killed more than 55,0000 Americans and 21,642,000 individuals across the entire world. Control of this disease has been put on the forefront by the American government. According to the report given by Mortality and Morbidity, eradication of influenza has been one of the great strides that public health has done. In the past century, vaccination has played a central role in eradication of several dangerous diseases that threatened the health of American population. This has helped to prevent many infections and resulting deaths (Thompson et al., 2003). Influenza can cause pneumonia even to healthy people. The disease is transmitted via the air when infected people cough or sneeze. This research paper intends to analyze the role that the public health has played in the efforts to eradicate the problem of influenza in United States.
Between 1979 and 2001 alone, influenza is estimated to have caused 41,400 per year deaths in the United States. Pneumonia and influenza were ranked as number eight among the leading causes of deaths in America in 2007. In the 90s, influenza caused 36,000 deaths every year, in addition to 200,000 cases of hospital admissions. In 2007, the influenza rate per 1,000 people under the age of 18 was 64.6. The rate was lower in the population of adults, accounting for 63.1 people for every 1,000 in a population. Many groups with an immune-compromised system have shown to have low cases of influenza-like infections. These include patients with cancer, AIDS and organ transplant.
The public health plays a central role in preventing spread of the disease. This ranges from administering of vaccination to giving the public the much-needed information on how to avoid the risk of contracting the disease. The public health has specific information about the months that the disease outbreak is likely to peak. This information helps them to inform the public and develop specific initiatives. The World Health Organization and the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention in United States recommend that high-risk groups should be given the vaccine for influenza. These groups include people who suffer from chronic illnesses like heart diseases, asthma and diabetes. The virus that causes influenza has a high rate of mutation. The vaccines cannot therefore protect an individual for more than two years. After every one year, the World Health Organization comes up with a prediction of the likely strain to circulate. Pharmaceutical companies then develop the vaccine that deals with the mutated variety of the virus (Finelli et al., 2008).
Annunziata et al. (2012) did an assessment of the rates of vaccination between 2007 and 2011. This study was purposed to understand the success rates of using vaccines to control the infectious diseases. 28 % of people above 18 years received the influenza vaccine in 2004. This population was considered not to be at high risk of contracting the disease. This study lasted for five years and there was an observable continued increase in the vaccination rate efforts, which peaked at the rate of 36.2 % by the end of the study. Phillips et al. (2012) did further studies on the vaccination efforts of influenza. They did a comparison of use of influenza vaccine that was trivalent inactivated and that which was live. The study indicated that the Federal Drug Administration had given a node for the two types of vaccines to be used. Use of Live Attenuated Vaccine of Influenza has safety issues that have not been resolved. However, in this study, it was discovered that there lay little difference in using the two types of vaccines in adults who were not infected. The study was done on 41,670 members of the United States military who had received the vaccine. Administration of influenza vaccine has not failed to have its share of drawbacks. Ermen et al. (2013) did a study of the causes of heart failures by randomizing 28 cases. Double dose of influenza vaccination has been noted to cause heart failure. High doses of influenza vaccine have been shown to lead to increase in responses that are mediated by antibodies. These reactions have been found to cause heart failure. This means that the health experts should look into this issue and correct where problems have been spotted.
The efforts to eradicate influenza have assumed security dimensions in the past. Markel (2010) states that in the month of December 2011, Nature and Science journals were requested not to fully publish some sections of avian flu experiments. The fear by the National Science Advisory Board for bio-security was that terrorists could extract the information and use it for creation of biological weapons. The advise notwithstanding, Plourde et al., (2012) did a study and publication about the influenza virus. The avian influenza A was found to be caused by replication increase in the brain region supporting functions of high order. Use of vaccination has repeatedly proven successful in eradication of some of the lethal diseases faced by humanity. Poliomyelitis, measles, tetanus, rubella, smallpox and diphtheria are only but few of the diseases that have been eliminated by use of vaccine. Pfizer Global Pharmaceuticals (2006) states that even though these diseases may be fought and disappear, it could be for a while and they reappear in a different and more dangerous form. Type A of influenza pandemic for example reappeared in 1957 and 1968.
This research analyzed established literature and data from CDC about vaccination efforts in fight of influenza. The researcher analyzed the vaccination rate and the infection that has been recorded in recent studies. As well, the researcher analyzed the vaccination activities among various risk groups of the United State population. The data was analyzed, discussed and presented in the paper.
The CDC has been on forefront in collection of data, vaccination campaigns and dissemination of information to the public so as to manage the disease. This has assisted a lot in enlightening the public about the usefulness of the vaccination. As well, CDC has come up with estimates of influenza types, an information that helps in developing the proper vaccine for reducing infections among the American population (Thompson et al., 2004).
As well as initiating vaccination programs, it is important to come up with research in biomedical discipline in order to deal with the disease. Education programs to the public should augment this research. If the public gets educated about the methods of spread of the disease, it will be easier to prevent the disease from spreading if there is an outbreak. Because of the risk of biological terrorism, there have been limitations of how some of the research publications are shared. This issue hampers research and dissemination of scientific information efforts (Fiore et al., 2008).
According to the data collected by CDC about vaccination, it was found that people of different age groups, ethnicity and race had been immunized against the virus. This data is important to development of new types of vaccines for immunization of people. Information given by CDC is updated up to 15th December 2012. The data showed that the estimates of flue vaccination were the same as those taken in the previous season. During the early to middle of November season, 36.5 % of young babies had received immunization. Among the children, 39.9 % and 35.2 % of the adults had received the vaccination. All the ethnic and racial profiles among the children had similar coverage of vaccination. The Hispanics had low vaccination coverage among the adults. Across other ethnic groups, the rate of vaccination was similar. These vaccination efforts for children mostly took place in medical locations. The adults received their vaccination in places of work and in retail settings (CDC, 2013). In the CDC report, 34.5 % of the adults and 64.8 % of the children immunized received services from the office of a doctor. In other places, workplaces accounted for 17.0 % of all vaccinations, medical related areas accounted for 25.3 % while schools accounted for 5.5%. Different factors can be attributed to the variation of places of vaccination. Most of the groups were either in school or at their workplace during the vaccination campaigns (CDC, 2013). The report however notes that more than half of the American population who are aged 6 months and more did not take advantage of the vaccination season. It recommends that the local leaders in the Hispanic, Native Americans, Blacks and Alaskan communities should be engaged so as to convince the people to take up the vaccination initiatives on a serious note. The medical health providers should also work hand in hand with community leaders to provide the influenza vaccine free to the people. There is inadequate coverage of influenza vaccination in the United States. Reports suggest that there should be standing orders, reminder and recall systems for the clients in order to increase the rate of vaccination (Germann et al., 2006).
Outbreak of influenza needs adequate intervention and the most renown is use of vaccination. The influenza virus highly mutates, making a onetime vaccination solution impossible. According to the paper, there are vaccination seasons every year because the viral strain of the disease keeps on changing. The analysis of data gathered shows that not all the population in the United States get immunized every season. The CDC takes a leading role in publication of data that is useful in developing vaccination initiatives in the country.