Prevention & control of communicable diseases: HLK

 

Controlling and preventing communicable diseases

The following are the main communicable disease risks in WA:

  1. Transmission of diseases that can be prevented with vaccines
  2. Gastroenteritis transmission
  3. Vector-borne disease transmission (e.g. Ross River virus)
  4. Infections that are sexually transmissible
  5. Diseases transmitted through the blood
  6. Local governments in Washington have a long history of assisting in the prevention and control of many of these communicable disease risks.

So, what's the situation now?

The prevalence of modifiable communicable diseases in Western Australia varies depending on a variety of social, environmental, and public health factors. Because of coordinated public health actions like vaccination and needle exchange programs, new infections of blood-borne diseases like hepatitis B and C have remained low in comparison to other infections. How to Survive a Pandemic Book

In WA, the most commonly reported modifiable communicable infectious diseases are sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and blood-borne viruses (BBVs). Chlamydia, gonorrhea, infectious syphilis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, and HIV are among the diseases that fall under this category.

Environmental factors (e.g. rainfall) and public health action influence the prevalence of vector-borne diseases like the Ross River virus (e.g. spraying mosquito breeding grounds).

The number of people who get influenza vaccines and how closely the vaccine strains match the circulating influenza strains determine the number of people who get infected. My Lifelong Fight Against Diseases Book

Is there anything that could be done better?

Yes, communicable diseases will spread unless the general public makes concerted efforts (e.g., vaccination, hand hygiene, and the promotion of safe sex practices) and state and local governments continue to take public health measures.

Local governments may already be doing things to prevent and control communicable diseases.

  1. Inspection of food businesses to reduce food-borne disease risks, body piercing and tattoo parlors to reduce blood-borne virus risks, and swimming pools to reduce water-borne disease risks
  2. Supporting the investigation and reporting disease outbreaks to WA Health
  3. Taking action in the face of other communicable disease threats (e.g. Legionella pneumophila contamination)
  4. Levels of vectors of vector-borne diseases are being monitored and controlled.
  5. Collaborating with the Department of Population Health in
  6. implementing public health initiatives
  7. In response to community concerns about the disposal of needles and syringes in the community,
  8. Supporting needle and syringe programs run by non-profits or state government agencies.
  9. Posters and brochures about STI and BBV are displayed.

There are more things that local governments can do to support communicable disease prevention and control.

  1. Assist in increasing awareness of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and Blood Borne Viruses by promoting the "Could I have it" (external website) or "Get the facts" (external website) campaign messages on your council's website and other communications (BBVs)
  2. To promote campaign messages, provide information resources and posters in council-owned facilities.
  3. Support the training of local government youth workers in peer-based sexual health education so that they can provide community-based sexual health education to young people.
  4. Make condom vending machines easily accessible.
  5. Make disposal of used needles and syringes a priority.

For more information, contact the relevant Health Service Provider's Communicable Disease Control Services (external site).

 

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