Description of the communicable disease (causes, symptoms, mode of transmission, complications, treatment).


Hepatitis B:

Description of the communicable disease (causes, symptoms, mode of transmission, complications, treatment). The demographic of interest (mortality, morbidity, incidence, and prevalence).

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Describe the determinants of health and explain how those factors contribute to the development of this disease.

Discuss the epidemiologic triangle as it relates to the communicable disease you have selected.

Include the host factors, agent factors (presence or absence), and environmental factors. (The textbook describes the elements of the epidemiologic triangle).

Explain and describe the role of the community health nurse (case finding, reporting, data collecting, data analysis, and follow-up).

Identify at least one national agency or organization that addresses the communicable disease and describe how the organization(s) contributes to resolving or reducing the impact of the disease.

Give references


Hepatitis B: A Comprehensive Analysis of the Communicable Disease, Determinants of Health, and the Role of Community Health Nursing”

Hepatitis B is a communicable disease caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). It primarily affects the liver, leading to inflammation and potential long-term complications. The disease can be acute or chronic and is a significant global health concern. Understanding the determinants of health and the epidemiologic triangle is essential in addressing this disease effectively.

The transmission of hepatitis B occurs through contact with infected blood, semen, vaginal fluids, or other body fluids of an infected person. The most common modes of transmission include unprotected sexual intercourse, sharing contaminated needles or syringes, and transmission from an infected mother to her newborn during childbirth. It can also spread through close contact with open sores or cuts of an infected person (International Agency for Research on Cancer, 2012). Hepatitis B is not spread through casual contact such as hugging, kissing, or sharing food or drinks.

Symptoms of acute hepatitis B include fatigue, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), dark urine, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, and joint pain. However, many people with hepatitis B may not experience any symptoms and can unknowingly transmit the virus to others. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to serious complications such as liver cirrhosis, liver cancer, and liver failure.

Several factors contribute to the development of hepatitis B. The determinants of health include socioeconomic status, access to healthcare, vaccination rates, and cultural beliefs and practices. Low socioeconomic status and limited access to healthcare may hinder individuals from receiving vaccinations or accessing necessary treatment and follow-up care. Cultural beliefs and practices, such as traditional medical practices or stigmatization of the disease, can also impact prevention and management efforts.

The epidemiologic triangle provides a framework for understanding the interplay of host factors, agent factors, and environmental factors in the transmission and development of the disease. Host factors include individual characteristics, such as age, immune status, and behaviors. Certain populations, such as infants and young children, are more susceptible to hepatitis B due to underdeveloped immune systems. Agent factors refer to the biological characteristics of the pathogen, such as its ability to survive outside the body and its modes of transmission. In the case of hepatitis B, the virus is highly infectious and can persist on surfaces for extended periods. Environmental factors encompass the physical, social, and cultural conditions that influence disease transmission. These factors can include access to clean water, sanitation practices, healthcare infrastructure, and cultural norms related to risk behaviors.

The role of the community health nurse is crucial in addressing hepatitis B. The nurse is involved in case finding, which includes identifying individuals who may be infected and educating them about testing and prevention strategies. Nurses also play a vital role in reporting cases to local health departments, ensuring accurate data collection and analysis for surveillance purposes (Richmond et al., 2018). Data collected by nurses and other healthcare providers help inform public health interventions, target high-risk populations, and evaluate the effectiveness of prevention and control strategies. Nurses provide counseling and support to individuals living with hepatitis B, promote vaccination campaigns, and advocate for policies that enhance access to healthcare and prevention measures.

One national agency that addresses hepatitis B is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the United States. The CDC works to reduce the impact of hepatitis B by implementing comprehensive prevention programs, conducting research, and providing guidelines and recommendations for healthcare providers. The CDC promotes routine vaccination against hepatitis B, especially for infants and high-risk individuals. It also supports efforts to increase awareness, testing, and linkage to care for those affected by the disease (National Academies Press (US), 2010). Through partnerships with healthcare organizations, community groups, and international agencies, the CDC contributes to global efforts in preventing and controlling hepatitis B.

In conclusion, hepatitis B is a communicable disease caused by the hepatitis B virus, primarily transmitted through infected body fluids. Understanding the determinants of health and the epidemiologic triangle is essential in addressing this disease effectively. Community health nurses play a vital role in case finding, reporting, data collection, analysis, and follow-up. National agencies like the CDC contribute to reducing the impact of hepatitis B through prevention programs, research, and guidelines. By addressing the determinants of health and implementing comprehensive strategies, we can strive to reduce the incidence, prevalence, morbidity, and mortality associated with hepatitis B.


International Agency for Research on Cancer. (2012). HEPATITIS B VIRUS. Biological Agents – NCBI Bookshelf. 

National Academies Press (US). (2010). Knowledge and Awareness About Chronic Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. Hepatitis and Liver Cancer – NCBI Bookshelf. 

Richmond, J., Sasadeusz, J., & Temple-Smith, M. (2018). The Role of Primary Health Care in Hepatitis B Testing and Management: A Case Study. Journal of Community Health, 43(1), 38–47. 

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