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Uncontrollable Risk Factors for Infectious Disease

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Create a top ten list of uncontrollable risk factors for infectious diseases. Then prescribe a prevention plan for each risk factor. Please include at least 2 references and citations within the body of the assignment.

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This is a very important and wide-reaching question. Infectious diseases kill, mutilate, and debilitate millions of people around the world in spite of the development of anti-microbial drugs that can combat many of the causative agents of these diseases. There is a good overview of the few main infectious diseases worldwide at this website: http://www.globalhealth.org/view_top.php3?id=228. The worst impact of infectious disease is in developing countries, due to a number of ecological, social and economic factors, although many of these factors are, at least theoretically, controllable (see http://www.globalhealth.org/view_top.php3?id=228).

Uncontrollable factors in infectious disease take many forms and depend upon the disease of interest. I am assuming that this assignment entails compiling a list of uncontrollable risk factors for the top ten communicable diseases (ie. the top ten occurring diseases - I will get this information for 2001 from Wikipedia, see below). I 1

List of top infectious diseases: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infectious_disease

1) Lower respiratory tract infections: As mentioned earlier, these diseases most affect people in developing countries, primarily children. Risk factors apparently include "large family size, lateness in the birth order, crowding, low birth weight, malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency, lack of breast feeding, pollution, and young age" (Berman S. 1991. Epidemiology of acute respiratory infections in children of developing countries. Review of Infectious Disease May-Jun;13 Suppl 6:S454-62 - I have only seen the abstract because I can't access the article online - you may consider reading this if you can get it at your school's library).

Of these factors, lateness in the birth order and young age are the uncontrollable risk factors. These may be overcome by strict attention to the controllable factors mentioned above.

2) HIV/AIDS - Transmission of the HIV virus and subsequent development of the disease is different for men and women. Africa is the world's epicenter for the AIDS epidemic and so I will take data from here, where HIV-infected women now outnumber men. For physical reasons, women are more susceptible to picking up the virus during heterosexual sex, and sex is therefore an uncontrollable risk factor for this disease. I would suggest in this case that better protection ...

Solution Summary

The solution discusses the top uncontrollable risk factors for infectious disease.