Occurrence and distribution of health-related states

Occurrence and distribution of health-related states

Occurrence and distribution of health-related states

1. Based on course readings, epidemiology is defined as the study of occurrence and distribution of health-related states/events in defined populations, including the determinants that influence these states and the application of the knowledge in controlling these health problems (Stanhope, & Lancaster, 2020). According to CDC, Ebola virus disease (EVD) is a deadly disease that is caused by a group of viruses within the genus Ebolavirus, and commonly affects people and primates such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees (What is Ebola Virus Disease, 2019).

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Ebola virus was first discovered in the year 1976 near the Ebola river which is now known as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It has been affecting people for a number of times in this nation, with outbreaks happening in central and west Africa from time to time. Little is known about its origin, nonetheless based on the nature of similar viruses it has been conceptualized to be animal-borne; bats/ non-human primates i.e., chimpanzees, apes, or monkeys constituting the most likely source. Infected animals can transmit the virus to others. The common mode of transmission in humans is through direct contact of contaminated blood/fluids/objects from a person who is sick/died from EVD to i.e., broken skin or mucous membrane in the eyes, nose, or mouth.

Symptoms of the Ebola virus disease are mainly characterized by fever, aches, and pains such as severe headache, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain, and unexplainable hemorrhaging. In later stages, red eyes, skin rash, and hiccups may develop. Outbreak characteristics include a fatality average rate of 50% which varied from 25% to 90% in previous outbreaks. The incubation period varies from 2 to 21 days. Infected persons cannot spread the virus until they develop symptoms. In terms of cases and geography, crowded areas increase the risk of infection. In areas where people follow burial practices such as washing the body, the rate of infection is expected to be higher.

The 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa is categorized as the largest in history. The index patient was identified to be an 18 months old boy in a village located in Guinea that was reported to have been infected by bats (2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa, 2019). At least 5 fatal cases of diarrhea occurred in this village and soon afterward spread to Conakry the capital city before being confirmed as EVD by Pasteur Institute located in France. It was declared an outbreak by the WHO as of March 23rd, 2014 where 49 people had been confirmed infected while 29 deaths had been recorded. CDC efforts were crucial as they provided surveillance, contact tracing, laboratory testing, and health education. The screening was intensified at travel points especially airports. The experimental vaccine rVSV-ZEBOV proved very effective in protecting against EVD in ending this outbreak (Henao-Restrepo et al., 2017). Occurrence and distribution of health-related states

This outbreak highly resembled the case definition as crowded areas depicted higher infection rates, and symptoms included fever, fatigue, headaches followed by vomiting, rash, and unexplained hemorrhaging. Total cases recorded were 28,600 while deaths were 11, 325; representing a fatality rate of around 40%.


2014-2016 Ebola Outbreak in West Africa. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/history/2014-2016-ou…

Henao-Restrepo, A. M., Camacho, A., Longini, I. M., Watson, C. H., Edmunds, W. J., Egger, M., . . . Kieny, M. (2017). Efficacy and effectiveness of an rVSV-vectored vaccine in preventing Ebola virus disease: Final results from the Guinea ring vaccination, open-label, cluster-randomised trial (Ebola Ça Suffit!). The Lancet, 389(10068), 505-518. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(16)32621-6

Stanhope, M., & Lancaster, J. (2020). Public health nursing: Population-centered health care in the community. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier.

What is Ebola Virus Disease? (2019). Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/about.html#:~:text=E… virus was first discovered,where Ebola virus comes from.

2. Covid-19 outbreak

This is an infectious disease whose origin is traced from Wuhan City in China. The WHO was formally notified about some strange cases of pneumonia in December 2019. By January 2020, the number of known cases had risen to 59. The virus responsible for this respiratory disease was identified as SARS-CoV-2 and later known as Covid-19 (Mayo, 2020). The recorded cases had mushroomed to 282 and spread in three more countries, South Korea, Japan, and Thailand.

Signs and symptoms of covid-19 are likely to appear 2-14 days after an individual is exposed to the virus. The most common signs and symptoms include fever, cough, and tiredness. There are other known symptoms like shortness of breath, sneezing, sore throat, and headache. The less general symptoms that may be exhibited include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Covid-19 symptoms can be severe or mild.

In some cases, the patients are asymptomatic and do not display any symptoms at all. While there are patients who may have many of these symptoms, the majority exhibit only a few. People with chronic illnesses like asthma, high BP, cancer, and diabetes have a higher probability of contracting the disease since their immunity is low. Also, older individuals are more vulnerable to the virus.

Information from the CDC indicates that the virus sticks on surfaces. When one touches the body and puts his hand in the mouth, nose, and eyes, they contract the virus. Also, the covid-19 virus can be airborne. Some of the preventive measures include social distancing, wearing a mask, regular washing of hands, and the use of alcohol-based sanitizers.


Coronavirus disease 2019 (2020) Mayo Clinic. Retrieved October 13, 2020, from Occurrence and distribution of health-related states


Coronavirus (2020) cdc. Retrieved October 13, 2020 from


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