Harmful Habits & Infectious Disease Prevention

Managing health and wellness is largely dependent upon our knowledge of controllable and uncontrollable risk factors that exist amongst people and within our environment. Our overall ability to maximize our level of wellness revolves around the choices made on a daily basis including our actions and our diets. In order to take our health seriously, we must learn to come to terms with the harmful effects of our decisions as well as the occasion of factors that we cannot control.

In an attempt to analyze the different ways in which these factors can negatively impact our wellness, we will examine a series of poor habits and resolutions, along with the risks associated with controllable and uncontrollable diseases and potential prevention methods for each. Top Ten List for Harmful Habits There are a wide variety of bad habits and choices that can be made in a team environment that could hinder the overall success of the team as well as group and individual wellness.

In no particular order, our team has put together a list of decisions and potential situations that would have a negative effect on health and wellness. It is no secret that a lack of sleep will affect any individual’s ability to think clearly and react in certain situations. This feeling of excessive drowsiness can cause tardiness to team meetings, inability to make a conscious effort in assignments, lack of focus, and a low rate of motivation.

In order to ensure that members are getting enough sleep, we have decided to schedule team meetings at a time that is agreeable for everyone, ensuring that our personal sleep schedules will not be interrupted. Along with a lack of sleep, an ill balanced diet can have harmful results on individual wellness. Inability to maintain a balanced diet could result in a lack of energy, and so team members will not be able to perform putting forth a maximum effort. On a more severe note, alcohol and/or drugs can have more obvious effects on individual and group wellness.

Unfortunately, if one team member suffers with such a harmful addiction, the rest of the team suffers as well. Such a habit can be the result of unnecessary stress, which is also considered to be a negative factor that can affect the wellness of the team. In order to reduce stress levels, we have decided that it is important to be supportive of all team members. Reinforcing positive constructive criticism will help to assist the team member in need and allow them to understand the importance of their contribution.

Other harmful habits and/or choices that can effect wellness pertain more so to our ability to work together as a team. These circumstances and habits include procrastination, poor time management skills, lack for cooperation and communication, unclear goal objectives, and team priorities. In these cases, the dimensions of wellness that are impacted are psychological, social, and environmental. In order to avoid procrastination and poor time management skills, scheduled due dates are to be posted once the assignment is announced.

This provides time for questioning, re-scheduling, and task delegation. If there is an uncooperative team member and argument is an unfortunate result, the best resolution is to maintain communication within teams. If a problem or disagreement arises, it is vital that we talk it through as a team and work towards reaching a common solution. Overcoming disagreements is largely a part of maintaining effective communication. Lack of discussion can pose for a communication withdrawal, which could damage our learning environment, psychological/social wellness, and team productivity.

Rather than waiting until the last minute to complete assignments, we have decided to check in with one another on a daily basis to be made aware of updates and/or changes regarding team assignments or meetings. Inability to list goal objectives and maintain priorities within a team will also have a negative effect on everyone’s wellness. Members of a team need something to work towards and look forward to, and a list of goals and primary objectives will allow for an organization of priorities. If there are no ideal goals to be achieved, a team is more so setting itself up for failure.

To ensure that there are clear and feasible goal objectives and priorities, team members must address these objectives at the commencement of a task in order to provide that the entire team understands and is on board with the assignment. Top Ten List for Controllable Risk Factor for Infectious Diseases When looking at the different infectious diseases an individual could have, there are some controllable factors that one can control to keep from contracting the infectious disease. There are some factors that one can do to keep immunity built up in his or her body.

Within these factors include managing one’s physical health, watching what one eats, and taking vitamin supplements and/or including them in one’s diet. With maintaining one’s physical health through exercise, one will be able to stay in shape allowing for a more controllable and preventative environment for infectious disease. Watching what one eats could keep one from getting an infectious disease by eating a food that was not cooked properly. This could keep one from getting food poisoning. Taking vitamin supplements and/or including vitamins in one’s diet could increase one’s immunity from contracting infectious disease.

When a person has habits of washing his or her hands, sterilizing areas when an individual is sick with an infectious disease that can be contracted by another, and having good hygiene, could keep people from getting infectious diseases such as the common cold, streptococcus bacteria, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). The common cold is the most common illness that has been announced according to research. Symptoms of this virus can vary in each individual who contracts it. There is no cure for this virus; but frequently washing hands and keeping the immunity up in the body can prevent it.

The streptococcus bacteria are spread person to person. Some of the preventative measures to take are to “wash your hands frequently and do not share toothbrushes or eating and drinking utensils” (WebMD, 2004). Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) is also spread from person to person. Educating the public to wash their hands and to cover their mouths and noses with a tissue when coughing or sneezing are positive methods of prevention (WebMD, 2003). When one is sexually active or is into injected drugs, ensuring protection from diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS, and Hepatitis C equals vitality.

When being sexually active one should take protective measures and use a condom. This could keep a person from getting various types of sexually transmitted diseases. Within these diseases, HIV/AIDS is a disease that does not have a cure. This disease, along with Hepatitis C, can be acquired from sharing needles with someone else. Not sharing needles is largely effective in preventing the spreading of this disease. Top Ten List for Uncontrollable Risk Factor for Infectious Diseases While evaluating the various uncontrollable risk factors for infectious diseases, the list seems to be almost endless.

There are so many different diseases that various people can come across, in which it was something that they had little to no control over. The following diseases will be briefly discussed along with prevention plans for each: air borne diseases/ infections, water diseases/ infections, cancer, HIV, heart disease, stroke, prologue intubations, chicken pox, influenza, and anthrax. First, we will begin with viruses and infections that are in the air. Unfortunately, there is not much of a preventative method for the air that we breathe in.

Alternative methods of prevention include facemasks in high-risk areas, and flu shots during flu season. Another area where viruses and infections are strongly located is in the water. Water is a part of our daily lives, and there is literally no way around taking in or using water in some type of form. However when it comes to drinking water, people should only drink purified or bottled water. This will help ensure that no illnesses or infectious diseases are inside. Contaminated water is very dangerous and could have severe consequences.

A serious disease that is killing millions of people yearly is cancer. It is a sad misfortune that this disease is common without a remarkable method for a cure. Our body either produces overly healthy cells or it does not. The good news is that certain forms of cancer can be prevented such as lung cancer by not smoking and by avoiding smoke. Another grave and very dangerous virus is HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus). This virus is even more heartrending when an infant gets HIV from their mother at birth. Obviously, there is nothing that the infant could have done to prevent this.

It is important; however, to educate people (especially children since they are the future), about the preventive steps from getting and spreading the disease. It is also critical that when a person has the disease that they take the medications and necessary treatments that the doctor provides to ensure the maximum life span possible. Heart disease, which can be genetic, is a disease that is uncontrollable. The factors that can help prevent the disease would be to change one’s lifestyle. For example, a person should not smoke, stay in recommended weight standards, eat healthy, stay active, and limit alcohol.

Following heart disease are strokes. Strokes can also be genetic. Preventive measures to help preclude or control this would be to control high blood pressure, prevent or control diabetes, stop smoking, and staying actively involved in physical activity. The next disease is prolonged intubations. Any form of intubations, which occur during endoscopic procedures more so for tracheal intubations, can leave room for an uncontrollable amount of bacteria to enter the body. The risk factor occurs more often in those who have a tube inserted into their system for a significant period of time.

The next virus, which is caused by VZV virus, is chicken pox. A virus that is very common in young children is Chicken pox, which often occurs only once in a person’s younger years. There is a vaccine that has shown to be 80% successful in stopping this virus, which is varivax. It is highly recommended and physicians usually suggest that toddlers be vaccinated after the age of one. The last two uncontrollable infectious diseases are malaria and influenza. Malaria is a disease in which infected mosquito’s pass by biting.

In rare cases, people have contracted this disease from needles or infants contract it from their mother at birth. There are several medications that are used to help prevent this disease. Additionally, it is highly recommended that if a person is in a high risked area that they carry a mosquito net. Fortunately, the last reported death for this disease in the United States was in 1995. The last virus is influenza. Influenza is the virus that causes the typical flu. It is normally spread from germs after an infected person sneezes or contact from a person whom is affected with the disease.

The main way to prevent this disease is by getting immunized with the vaccine yearly. In conclusion, bad habits or harmful habits in a team environment can determine the outcome of the team success. The team was able to find solution to each of the problems. For example, the team learned if a member is lacking in energy, it could be linked to a poor diet and/or lack of sleep. The solution for a team member, whom is lacking energy, is to maintain a healthy diet that gives them a well balance of nutrients and try to get adequate amount of sleep preferably eight hours.

The team has found that if the ten harmful habits are avoid then the teams outcome will be successful Throughout history infectious diseases, controllable or uncontrollable, has accounted for the greatest part of human morbidity and mortality. We have discussed various forms of diseases, infections, and viruses. We have learned that there are many that have controllable risk factors. On the contrary, there are also some that have uncontrollable risk factors as well. The important thing to remember is that doing everything possible to prevent infectious diseases is the key, and plays a very important role in staying healthy.

Taking part in preventative measures such as washing your hands frequently, being aware of what you eat and how you prepare it, practicing safe sex, avoiding wild animals, and keep immunizations up to date. Following these life saving steps can lead to a healthier you both physically and mentally.

References: WebMD (2003). Frequently asked questions about severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). Retrieved September 15, 2006. http://www. webmd/com/content/article/62/71651. htm. WebMD (2004). StrepThroat. A-Z Health Guide from WebMD: Health Topics. Retrieved September 15, 2006. http://www. webmd. com/hw/strep_throat/hw54911. asp.

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