Essay on Communicable Diseases

Communicable Diseases in the EU
Introduction
A communicable disease is a disease that is transmittable from person, inanimate source or animal to another animal or person. The disease or illness is either transmitted directly or through a vector or an intermediate host. The diseases appear either in an epidemic or in an endemic form whereby for the endemic form the disease constantly remains in the given population. Communicable diseases like tuberculosis, HIV and malaria are the leading causes of death in the world. It is notable that they claim more than 15 million lives worldwide on an annual basis. This paper will explore the question of the communicable diseases in the European Union.

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Networks for the Epidemiological Surveillance and Control of Communicable Diseases
Early Warning and Response System (EWRS) is one of the management tools that enable public health communities in the EU to share information about outbreaks. EWRS also aids in the coordination measures against the health threats that face more than one country in the EU. Another pillar of the network concerns is the EU-level epidemiological surveillance which is a component of disease specific surveillance networks.

European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC)
The European center for disease prevention and control (ECDC) is the body or agency that monitors, assesses and communicates communicable disease threats to humans and animals. The center for the body is located in Stockholm and was established in 2005 with an intention of reducing the frequency and spread of the communicable diseases. ECDC supports the work done by Europe disease control agencies and also coordinates the activities by the EU. Notably the body does not centralize the power of resources that are owned within the region. The other notable factor about the body is that assets like laboratories are located within national institutes.

ECDC MAIN FUNCTIONS
The main function of the ECDC is to reinforce and develop Europe’s system of proper disease surveillance in the EU. It also reinforces the rapid alert in Europe against disease outbreaks. The other main function by the body is to strengthen response and preparedness against epidemics that may strike in the EU. The body is also entrusted with the responsibility of providing scientific advice of an authoritative nature concerning communicable diseases. They also give scientific advice on the dangers that are posed by the diseases to the individuals. ECDC also works closely with the member states to prevent communicable diseases and also to control them. The final essential function that is carried by the body is the communication of all collected information to the European public.

Health protection units
The EU has 26 health protection units that cover the population of 2 million people. Each of these units has staffs who are consultants in health protection including health protection nurses and pharmacists. HPUs are entrusted with the function of undertaking local surveillances and investigating the communicable diseases outbreaks. They are also highly involved in the management of the conditions and the delivery of national health plans. The units work closely with the primary care trusts, local authorities and hospital trusts.

Environmental health departments
The environmental health departments in the EU are entrusted with the responsibility of checking the water, food, safety, air quality, noise and port health controls. They normally ensure the safety at air and seaports within the EU region. They are also involved in refuse collections and pest control within the region. They further investigate the outbreaks of waterborne infections and enforce food safety laws. Other responsibilities ascribed to them include the inspection of food premises and the investigation of complaints. They also engage in the activities of providing food hygiene training among the members they widely collaborate with veterinarians, teachers, and microbiologists.

Investigation and control
In Estonia, the control measures that are put in place concerning the communicable diseases include contact tracing and investigations of the outbreaks. The local health authorities are responsible for carrying out the function with the help of the national authorities. The provincial veterinarian and food authorities are also involved in instances where a condition affects a large number of people. The ministry of agriculture is also heavily involved in the food borne out breaks in the region.

Conclusion
The EU region is highly susceptible to communicable diseases especially due to the climatic conditions. Other factors like geographic migrations into the region increase the jeopardy. The governmental bodies have, however, formed strong bodies like ECDC which is entrusted with the function of ensuring a reduction of the diseases. ECDC also offers scientific advice concerning the situation in the region. Different countries within the EU also have their own laws and bodies which act towards controlling the condition. They, however, comply with the rules of ECDC.

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