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Health Behavior, Communication, and Advocacy

Health Behavior, Communication, and Advocacy

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that affects all age groups. Its prevalence is determined by environmental factors and the population of a place. The signs and symptoms of the infection include fever, cough, conjunctivitis, running nose, and kolpik spots. Measles-associated rashes start from the head and spread to lower extremities such as the neck, arms, and feet. Its incubation period is approximately two weeks.

Needs at the State Level

            The incidences of measles reported in 2019 revealed an increase in the number of cases in Illinois. In 2019, nine cases of measles were reported in the state of Illinois. Incidences in the preceding years were 5, 0, 2, 17, 2, 5, and 0 in 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013 and 2012 respectively (Patel et al., 2019). The rise in the number of cases can be linked to residents who traveled to countries reporting large outbreaks of measles. These countries include Israel, the Philippines, and Ukraine (Lee et al., 2019). The travelers failed to get the measles vaccine before traveling to these countries. Consequently, they contracted the disease.

There is a need for public education on measles in the state of Illinois. Residents should be educated on the importance of vaccination against measles. Public education should take place through various media platforms such as televisions, radios, billboards, and public gatherings. The public should know that the MMR vaccine is key to eliminating measles, mumps, and rubella (Leung et al., 2018). The vaccine is safe and effective based on numerous studies. Public education should aim at dispelling any myths and misconceptions propagated by groups that are against the vaccine. Public education should include identifying countries with outbreaks of measles and advising residents on the importance of getting vaccinated before visiting such nations. Furthermore, public education should focus on how to identify signs and symptoms of measles and various preventive strategies that the residents can use to curb the spread of the disease.

Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Factors

Intrapersonal factors that contribute to an individual contracting measles include not getting vaccinated, traveling to endemic areas (countries), and vitamin A deficiency. Being unvaccinated predisposes an individual to measles (Lemos et al., 2017). Vaccines help to prevent measles by generating antibodies that help to fight the disease. Unvaccinated people are more likely to contract the disease than vaccinated people. A person traveling to measles-endemic countries or countries with outbreaks is most likely to contract the disease (Wilder-Smith & Qureshi, 2020). Moreover, the probability of contracting the disease in endemic countries is higher for unvaccinated people. Vitamin A deficiency predisposes a person to severe symptoms and complications of measles.

Interpersonal factors include droplet transmission, contaminated inanimate objects, and vertical transmission during pregnancy. Droplet transmission occurs when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes (Leung et al., 2018). A healthy person can inhale infective droplets released in the air and hence contract the disease. Vertical transmission occurs during pregnancy. Maternal viremia can cause placental infection and transmission to the fetus. This can lead to fetal malformations, especially during the first trimester (Leung et al., 2018). Droplets may contaminate inanimate objects and predispose healthy individuals to the virus. Measles is spread when a person touches the contaminated surfaces, rubs their eyes or nose, or inserts their hands in the mouth.

Healthy Behaviors to Reduce Measles Contraction

Individuals can adopt various healthy behaviors to reduce their chance of contracting measles. Vaccination is the first healthy practice that should be adopted. The MMR vaccine helps to prevent the contraction of measles (Patel et al., 2019). This is accomplished by the generation of antibodies that help the body to fight the disease. Persons traveling to endemic areas should adhere to the recommended vaccination schedule. Furthermore, infected people should observe specific protocols to avoid the spread of the disease. They should cover their mouths during coughing and when sneezing. This helps to minimize contamination caused by the spread of droplets. Proper handwashing practices should also be adopted to help prevent the spread of measles. Individuals should wash their hands with soap and sanitize regularly. This is particularly useful after coming into contact with contaminated surfaces.

Principles of Social Marketing Theory

The main principles of Social Marketing Theory focus on the consumers and their needs or preferences. The principles take into consideration the consumer’s preferences about a product, the price, place (distribution), and its promotion (David & Rundle-Thiele, 2018). Social marketing can help healthcare providers understand the public’s needs and desires regarding measles. Thereafter, they can use the feedback to create programs to facilitate change of behavior associated with measles.

In the context of the product, the public’s perception of measles should be sought. Their perception will demonstrate the extent to which they consider measles to be a problem and whether they want preventive measures to be adopted. Regarding price, the public’s perception is hugely dependent on their view of the problem. The public’s view on place includes the availability of preventive measures. In this context, it should be a view of the places where the MMR vaccine is given. Thereafter, promotion should be conducted based on the findings. Media platforms can be used in the promotion. Promotion should include education on the transmission and prevention of measles. This will help to change the behavior associated with measles.

Benefits and Consequences of Influencing Policymakers

Influencing policymakers through health-related advocacy is beneficial. It facilitates the formulation of policies that uphold promotive and preventive health practices. This is important for the well-being of the people. It also enables policymakers to make informed choices when formulating policies. Therefore, influencing policymakers through health-related advocacy can help to ensure that the best health practices are upheld.

Conclusion

Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that affects all age groups. The incidences of measles reported in 2019 revealed an increase in the number of cases in Illinois. The rise in the number of cases can be linked to residents who traveled to countries reporting large outbreaks of measles. Intrapersonal and interpersonal factors promote the spread of measles. Subsequently, the Social Marketing Theory principles help provide feedback to create programs to facilitate change of behavior associated with measles.

References

David, P., & Rundle-Thiele, S. (2018). Social Marketing Theory Measurement Precision: A Theory of Planned Behavior Illustration. Journal of Social Marketing, 8(2), 182–201. https://doi.org/10.1108/JSOCM-12-2016-0087

Lee, A. D., Clemmons, N. S., Patel, M., & Gastanaduy, P. A. (2019). International Importations of Measles Virus into the United States During The Post-Elimination Era, 2001-2016. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 219(10), 1616–1623. https://doi.org/10.1093/infdis/jiy701

Lemos, D. R. Q., Franco, A. R., de Oliveira Garcia, M. H., Pastor, D., Bravo-Alcantara, P., de Moraes, J. C., Domingues, C., & Pamplona de Goes Cavalcanti, L. (2017). Risk Analysis for the Reintroduction and Transmission of Measles in the Post-Elimination Period in the Americas. Revista Panamericana de Salud Pública, 41, 1. https://doi.org/10.26633/rpsp.2017.157

Leung, A. K. C., Hon, K. L., Leong, K. F., & Sergi, C. M. (2018). Measles: A Disease Often Forgotten but not Gone. Hong Kong Medical Journal, 24(5), 512–520. https://doi.org/10.12809/hkmj187470

Patel, M., Lee, A. D., Redd, S. B., Clemmons, N. S., McNall, R. J., Cohn, A. C., & Gastañaduy, P. A. (2019). Increase in Measles Cases — United States, January 1–April 26, 2019. American Journal of Transplantation, 19(7), 2127–2130. https://doi.org/10.1111/ajt.15477

Wilder-Smith, A. B., & Qureshi, K. (2020). Resurgence of Measles in Europe: A Systematic Review on Parental Attitudes and Beliefs of Measles Vaccine. Journal of Epidemiology and Global Health, 10(1), 46–58. https://doi.org/10.2991/JEGH.K.191117.001

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Question 


Health Behavior, Communication, and Advocacy

Assignment Overview
To understand influential factors related to an outbreak, you must assess and expand on concepts related to Health Behavior and Health Communication and Advocacy.

Case Assignment
Write a script for a presentation that you have been asked to make at a community coalition meeting. The script must address (but is not limited to) the following:

  • Verbalize the problem, needs at the local/state level, and the type of assistance you seek.
  • Describe the intrapersonal and interpersonal factors which contribute to an individual contracting measles.
  • Identify health behaviors an individual can adopt/minimize to reduce their chance of contracting measles.
  • Explain how the main principles of the social marketing theory can be used to change behavior associated with measles.
  • Examine the benefits and consequences of informing and influencing policymakers through health-related advocacy.

Assignment Expectations
Length: 3 pages, excluding title page and references.

Health Behavior, Communication, and Advocacy

Health Behavior, Communication, and Advocacy

Assessment and Grading: Your paper will be assessed based on the performance assessment rubric. You can view it under Assessments at the top of the page. Review it before you begin working on the assignment. Your work should also follow these Assignment Expectations.

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