Module(Zoonosis and Vector Borne Diseases)

The diseases discussed in this module(Zoonosis and Vector Borne Diseases) have killed hundreds of millions of people over the last several thousand years. Many of them are facilitated by human behavior such as leaving standing water around homes allowing for mosquitoes to breed or people moving into the edge of forests where they come into contact with infected animals. What are potential solutions we might use to protect health? What would you tell policy makers and government officials regarding the health implications of these activities?

Student 1’s first post
As demonstrated in the module, contact with infected animals can result in a variety of diseases, including zoonosis and vector-borne disease. As with any other problem, there are several solutions that we may be able to use to protect our health. To begin, we can develop and implement educational programs about common diseases found in one’s community. These programs would educate people about the disease, its signs and symptoms, how to treat it, and how to prevent it. These programs should specifically target both young children, who are usually outside more, and parents. By educating these specific populations, future generations will gain awareness and knowledge. Another solution would be to identify which diseases are prevalent in the community and develop a plan to apply pesticides, change the vector’s habitat, and/or remove the vector’s food source. This will control the animals by directly targeting the disease-spreading population. This would involve using upstream thinking to ensure human safety. Finally, it is critical to collaborate with the community, policymakers, and government officials on the health consequences of these activities. Policies and programs can be developed and funded to protect people’s health. In Nepal, for example, there has been a recent increase in dengue fever, which has affected many people. They can allot a specific amount of money and resources to this issue by working with policymakers and government officials, whether it is to increase medical supplies and support or to increase research on possible ways to prevent such diseases.

Student-2’s first post
When it comes to vector-borne diseases, we have several options for protecting our health. When considering Lyme Disease, it is critical that people understand what to look for and how to protect themselves. As someone who grew up in a hiking family, my parents always advised me to wear tall, light socks. That way, when we were done hiking, we could see if any ticks had attached themselves to us. We’d also check for ticks and, if we found one, monitor the bite to see if the signature bulls-eye appeared. When it comes to malaria, there are numerous precautions that are taken. When I traveled to Ghana for a dialogue of civilizations, my travel clinic provided me with mosquito repellent lotion, a spray, wrist bands, and advised me to spray my clothing with permethrin. The problem with this is that not everyone has access to these resources. However, while in Ghana, we discovered that children are given mosquito nets every two years in school, which is a fantastic public health campaign as long as it is linked to education. One way to combat vector-borne diseases is to educate people about outdoor safety. At the policy level, I would inform officials that education and resource provision are critical to seeing a decrease in these diseases. It is critical to provide resources, but it is even more critical to teach people how to use them. It’s great to give out mosquito nets, but if a family doesn’t know how to use them, it’s useless.

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