10 Attitudes That Help Fight Public Health Problems
Often, when we think of diseases in a region, we forget the role of each individual when it comes to fighting them. If the issue is a public health problem in our community, every correct attitude is worth a lot. "
" A good deal of disease can be avoided or at least be at risk of being reduced by individual measures, "says the Rodrigo Lima, director of the Brazilian Society of Family and Community Medicine
The epidemiologist Eduardo Hage, director of the Department of Surveillance of Transmissible Diseases (DEVIT) of the Ministry of Health, citizen participation is essential. "Once you have access to information about diseases in your community, forms of dissemination (in the case of communicable diseases) and mechanisms of prevention and control, you become an important actor in the dissemination of this knowledge" , says the expert.
Want to know how to prevent the spread of diseases in your region? Here are some simple attitudes that address public health issues:
Soapy hands being washed in the bathroom sink - "Photo: Getty Images"
Hands are one of the people's biggest ways of contact with the world. It is therefore natural that they come in contact with a greater number of bacteria and viruses. If we do not have the routine to wash them regularly, they become an important vehicle for the transmission of this type of agent, as explained by the infectologist Gilberto Turcato, Hospital Alemão Oswaldo Cruz, in São Paulo. correct hygiene of the hands before handling food or eating and when it comes in contact with any object or situation that may be infectious, "the expert list.
With this measure, you can prevent from colds and flu to more serious infections like pneumonia, gastroenteritis or even the various types of meningitis.
Covering the mouth when sneezing and coughing
Sneezing and coughing are situations that also help spread viruses and bacteria. "The droplets produced in the airways spread through the environment after coughing or sneezing and end up being inhaled by people close by," explains Rodrigo Lima.
It is important to cover the mouth and nose with some bulkhead, which can be hands , a handkerchief or the forearm. The problem with using your hands, however, is to ensure that you can wash them right away. If you do not, you will continue to spread the infectious agents, but this time through them.
Reporting different symptoms and always seeking medical help
Being aware of different health symptoms and reporting them to public health entities can help a lot prevent the spread of disease. "This attitude allows faster responses against epidemics, including vaccination, health education, among others," explains Lima.
In these cases it is important to visit health posts, talk to health workers in neighborhoods or even use
"In 2014, during the World Cup, a mobile application was developed by the Ministry of Health to monitor the possible occurrence of outbreaks during that event , which fortunately did not happen.This application has now been perfected for the Olympic and Paralympic Games and calls Guardians of Health. Anyone can use it and notify you of their health status, "says Eduardo Hage.
Allow air circulation in environments
In closed places with no air circulation, those droplets infected with bacteria are circulating in the environment. If there is a cluster of people, the scenario is even worse. "When these places do not have adequate ventilation, these droplets have contact with people for longer," explains Lima.Therefore, when staying in places with many people (such as buses, trains, waiting rooms, offices, gym, among others) make sure there is some window that will ventilate the air inside. This can help in the prevention of colds, flu, and infections such as measles, mumps, chickenpox and other viral diseases.
Follow the guidance of the medical certificate
When a person is sick and receives guidance from staying at home, this is important not only for resting it, but also to prevent it from transmitting its infectious agent to other people. "Today, even the flu may be risky for older people, so it is important to keep the shelter when having the flu or other diseases. "
Keeping the vaccination card up to date
Vaccination was a very important step in preventing the spread of diseases in large populations. "If you have a good number of people immune to a disease, the penetration of this agent will be much lower and the disease will spread less," says Turcato. This is because when a person is immunized, however much they get the virus, it will hardly transmit it.
Public health agencies provide free vaccines according to the vaccination schedule. But it is necessary that the population takes the initiative to vaccinate and take their children. It is essential that all contribute to control and eradicate diseases through vaccination.
Caring for pets
It is not only the people who transmit diseases, the animals are also transmitting agents. Therefore, it is important that they keep the vaccination card up-to-date, as well as being always wormed and flea-free.
"This helps prevent diseases such as mycosis, intestinal infections, rabies, toxoplasmosis, cat scratch disease , among others ", Lima list.
Prevent mosquitoes outbreaks
There are several insects that are vectors of diseases, such as the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which is most prominent lately due to the transmission of Zika virus, dengue fever and chikungunya fever
This mosquito often leaves its eggs in clean, still water, so there are specific foci to avoid: "Do not keep plants whose pots collect water, do not stock objects that collect water, such as bottles, tires, and plastic containers. attention to the formation of puddles of water in your backyard, "says family doctor Rodrigo Lima.
In addition, it is important to reduce people's contact with these insects by protecting the home with screens in using a repellent on exposed skin and, where possible, prefer- ing clothes that cover the skin well, such as trousers and long-sleeved sweaters.
Do not leave garbage on the street
Garbage on the street can cause illness in two ways . The first is that it can be spread by environmental factors, such as rain and wind, and spread some disease that may have previously manipulated it, says Lima.
Another possibility is that this organic material attracts animals as mice, which can transmit various types of parasites. "They can transmit leptospirosis through the urine, but also by fleas and fungi," says the expert.
Sanitizing the swimming pool at home
Pools also ask for good hygiene, and do not think it's just for standing water. "Untreated water becomes a breeding ground for infectious agents that can be passed on by anyone who has one of them in the body," says infectious disease specialist Turcato.
Pool cleaning materials prevent the proliferation of these agents , which can cause otitis, skin diseases (such as ringworm) and even intestinal infections.
According to the Ministry of Health, Brazil recorded an increase of 8,877 cases of chikungunya - more than 12 per hour - in just four weeks. The number reported is ten times greater than what had been accounted for last year, until November 28 the organization counted 259,928 cases of the infection, with 138 deaths.
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