What Are the Social Determinants of Health

740 Words Aug 28th, 2014 3 Pages
What are social determinants of health? How do social determinants of health contribute to the development of illness?
What is a communicable disease chain?
Are there steps that a nurse can take to break a link within the communicable disease chain? Give a specific example.
Readings within your text covering international/global health and the following websites will assist you in answering these questions: 1. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Global Health website: http://www.cdc.gov/cogh/index.htm 2. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Global Health website: http://www.globalhealth.gov/index.html 3. Families USA - Why Global Health Matters—Here and Abroad website:
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A communicable disease chain is the mechanism by which an infective agent or pathogen is transmitted. The chain requires an infective agent, a source of infection, a mode of transmission and a host. An example of an infective agent could be bacteria, a virus, fungus, protozoan or helminth. The source of infective agents can be transmission from host to host, an infected human or animal, insects, soil or livestock. The mode of transmission is how the infective agent is carried from host to host. Transmission can be by air, ingestion or physical contact. To complete a life cycle or to replicate, the infective agent requires a host.
Social determinants such as poverty or location can make a population susceptible to transmission of diseases. In the earlier part of the twentieth century the rural American South was plagued with hookworms. The worms, which live in the bowel, were passed by feces into poorly managed waste systems. They were transmitted to the host, usually children through bare feet. In summer month’s poorer children were bare foot. The transmission was stopped not by putting shoes on the children but by building better sanitary “privies” or outhouses (Dinsmore, 1912). By containing fecal matter the hookworms were contained. In rural areas containment of fecal matter also controls typhoid fever and amebic dysentery.
Nurses can break the communicable disease chain through education and action.
Many diseases, devastating