"Reemergence of Diseases as One of the Biggest Health Threats" is an outstanding example of a paper on infections. Chugh (2008) states that one of the biggest health threats to the public is the reemergence of diseases once believed to have been either eradicated or controlled due to the fact that common bacteria are increasingly developing resistance to antibiotics. This new threat has the ability to reverse all the progress that has been made against diseases since the development of penicillin, due to the fact that diseases such as gonorrhoea, meningitis, and tuberculosis are developing strains, which are drug-resistant.
A possible reason for this is the current overuse of antibiotics as well as the use of antibiotics on livestock in order to promote their growth. It is a very difficult task to track down these new drug-resistant strains of diseases and there is yet to be agreement on how best to deal with this situation. Bettelheim (1999), states that these new strains, after tests were done, were shown to have acquired genetic traits which enabled them to evade most of the conventional lines of pharmaceutical attack, and if left unchecked, they could severely limit the ability of doctors to control dangerous infections.
Furthermore, these drug-resistant strains would make even the simplest operations into potentially life-threatening situations. There has been news of outbreaks of infectious diseases not only in the United States but also all over the world. According to Krause (1992) diseases which were once thought to have been eradicated, such as polio, are slowly reemerging and very little can be done to stop then due to the fact that they are drug-resistant.
There are increasing cases of new infections by such strains everyday and these contagions have been making powerful impressions all across the world and many states have chosen to give them special attention in order to develop new ways of eradicating them. Cherry (2010) declares that in the United States, there have been cases of whooping cough especially in California in 2010 where over nine thousand cases were reported with several infant deaths. Kim (2007) states that the most common symptoms of whooping cough are having a runny nose, sneezing, low-grade fever, and a mild occasional cough which is similar to the one experienced when having a common cold.
Later there develop numerous bursts of coughing accompanied by a long effort to breathe in. between episodes, the person infected may appear to be in a normal condition, but in infants, they appear to be very ill. There have been cases where immunization programs have been interrupted due to the belief that the fight against the various infectious diseases has been won and this has enabled the reemergence of these diseases that have resisted the drugs available (Caladrillo, 2005).
Furthermore, the resistance against such diseases has been greatly reduced because of the lack of resistance in human beings. There are several reasons why the diseases which were once thought to have been eradicated or controlled are reemerging. Esmaeil (2008), states that one of these is the fact that some disease-causing bacteria have acquired genes which enable them to resist the drugs which are administered to eradicate them. Another reason is that there is an abundant use of antibiotics and this has enabled the bacteria to develop resistance to drugs.
Lastly, the use of antibiotics in livestock to encourage their growth has enabled bacteria which were previously confined to animals to get transmitted to human beings and these have transferred their genes to human bacteria enabling them to survive. Examples of these drug-resistant diseases that are reemerging are tuberculosis and poliomyelitis. According to Wang (2012), there have been cases of doctors refusing to give any medical care to children who have not been immunized because their parents were concerned that vaccines cause autism and other medical problems.
The refusal of these parents to have their children vaccinated leaves them vulnerable to attacks from new strains of diseases which can turn out to be infectious and life-threatening not only to these children and to others. Tuberculosis was once a major health problem whose prevalence declined dramatically due to the development of vaccines against it. According to Shields (2005) with the emergence of HIV, tuberculosis has reemerged as an opportunistic infection, developing new drug-resistant strains which physicians are finding difficult to treat. This disease has developed resistance to many of the antibiotics which are used to treat it mainly through genetic exchange or mutation or the long term use of antibiotics. Governmental entities all over the world are finding it very hard to control the re-emergence of diseases once thought to have been controlled.
Moyers (2012) declares that the cultural and religious beliefs of people tend to influence them into resisting the use of vaccines because of the suspicion that some of these cultures have against them. There are religious practices which do not allow the use of vaccines because of the belief that it is the will of God if one gets a disease and it is not the responsibility of human beings to go against his will.
This belief is especially prevalent in the religious practices of the Middle East and the Taliban influenced Afghanistan. European views concerning vaccination are also beginning to change with many parents believing that vaccines negatively affect the health and well being of their children and this increases the resistance to vaccination. In conclusion, it is best to educate and get the public to be aware of the existence of these reemerging diseases so that they are better able to protect themselves.
State and federal laws should be put in place to ensure that parents are not allowed to opt-out of vaccinating their children in order to reduce the risk of a rapid spread of reemerging diseases. There is a risk of the developing of more reemerging diseases and we should be ready for them by the provision of more information to the public concerning the benefits of preventative vaccination.
Bettelheim, A. (1999). Drug-resistant bacteria. CQ Researcher, 9, 473-496. Retrieved from http://0-library.cqpress.com.alice.dvc.edu/cqresearcher/
Chugh, T. D. (2008). Emerging and re-emerging bacterial diseases in India. Journal of Biosciences, 33(4), 549-55.
Kim, C. (2007). Pertusis: A re-emerging threat. The Journal for Nurse Practioners. Retrieved from http://www.npjournal.org/article/S1555-4155%2806%2900674-X/abstract
Krause, R. (1992). The origin of plagues: old and new. Science 257:1073-1078.
Cherry, J. (2010). The present and future control of pertusis. Editorial Commentary, Retrieved from http://cid.oxfordjournals.org
Esmaeil, Z. (2008). Emerging and re-emerging zoo noses. Iranian Journal of Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2008(3(2):109-115), www.middle-east-online/english/?id=51041
Moyers, B. (2012). The risk of contagion nation. Middle East online, Retrieved from http://www.middle-east-online.com/english/?id=51041
Caladrillo, P. S. (2005). Vanishing Vaccinations: Why are so many Americans opting out of vaccinating their children? American law & economic association annual meetings. Retrieved from http://law.bepress.com/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1507&context=alea
Shields, B. M. (2005). The bioarchaeology of tuberculosis: A global view on a reemerging disease. Southeastern Archaeology,24(2), 235-0_4.
Wang, S. (2012, February 15). More Doctors 'Fire' Vaccine Refusers. The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved from http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203315804577209230884246636.html