We have made several advances in healthcare very recently, but the focus of this is on the diseases we still struggle to control. They include infectious, or communicable diseases, and conditions, which often times are easily preventable. Communicable diseases have started to take a different shape, biologically and statistically, over the turn of the century. Although most infectious fatalities today still come from Influenza, the number two spot has become more competitive. HIV has steadily decreased in transmission, a especially among the usual demographics, while bacterial infections such as staph, MRSA, VRSA, and C. Diff have maintained a steady rise. The threat of the U.S. version of the bird flew becoming infectious to humans is just a few viral mutations away. Preventable conditions include diabetes type 2 and heart disease. Due to the length of this paper, the focus will be on these communicable disease.
Very recently, early treatment of staph infections have begun to be treated more aggressively at the first confirmation of an infection site (CDC, 2015). This is a tremendous difference from the turn of the century, when the least powerful antibiotics were used, the thought being that certain antibiotics needed to reserved as last resort treatments. Instead of an operational cure of the disease, we gave staph a stepwise ability to mutate from drug to drug, methodically antiquating each one given along the way. This especially has become a problem as the number of Vancomycin resistant staph rises. This is beginning to be seen in different species of bacteria, particularly Tuberculosis. The more aggressive approach has temporarily plateaued levels of hospitalizations and deaths due to these infections, but more sustainable approaches are being looked at. For example, the use of nano silver particles in hospital bedding, seating, and operation tables is a viable option as more products become less expensive. Manuka Honey is another field of study that seems promising (Mandal and Mandal, 2011). In terms of the bird flu, we are not quite fast enough at developing viable cures for these types of infections, and staying ahead of viral mutations (Baron, 1993).
In conclusion, though we have made several advances in medicine, particularly in the areas of oncology and HIV/AIDS research, we have new diseases and subspecies of bacteria and virus that challenge us in the future. We need to find stronger ways of combating these new, more dangerous suber-bugs before they get completely out of our control, if they haven’t already.
Baron, S. (1996) Viral Genetics. Medical Microbiology. 4th edition. Ch. 43. Print.
CDC (2015). Progress Being Made in Infection Control in U.S. Hospitals; Continued
Improvements Needed. CDC Media Relations. retrieved from web 20 July
Mandal, Manisha Deb and Mandal, Shyamapada. (2011) Honey: its medicinal property
and antibacterial activity. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Biomedicine. Medical
report. Print and Web.