About one third of the world’s population carry tuberculosis (TB) mycobacteria. Only between 10 and 20 per cent of those people will go on to develop active tuberculosis disease. Sometimes the disease can progress for weeks or months before it is suspected. In the course of a year, someone with active TB can spread the disease to up to 15 people, and without proper treatment, around 10 of that group may die. In Australia, around 1,200 cases are reported each year, 85 per cent of which are in migrant populations. The key to controlling TB is early identification, treating it with antibiotics and tracing those who have had close contact with the TB patient, for investigation of whether they are also infected. For this assignment, you are to assume the role of a Public Health Officer within a state or territory Health Department, undertake appropriate contract tracing and exposure assessments for a notified tuberculosis index case.
Students should explore relevant websites and articles to support a report with responses for questions 15. Assessment 2 will count 50% towards grades for this Unit. Recommended word count 2,500, excluding references and appendices.
1. What is a notifiable disease? Include website/s with information about notifiable diseases in Australia (5 marks)
2. What is contact tracing in epidemiology? (5 marks)
3. Please download Tuberculosis Contact Tracing guidelines for the Northern Territory and Victoria. Can you identify any important differences? (10 marks) 4. A student at a secondary school in a small community has been diagnosed with smear positive pulmonary TB while being hospitalized. The news has been published in a local newspaper. There has been considerable anxiety in the local community and parents of the other students. Only the parents and 8 year old brother are identified as contacts, and no evidence of TB is found among them. As the responsible Public Health officer, you want to give helpful information in an informed but not overtechnical form. You might tell the community what they should know, without raising panic or encouraging complacency.You are required to prepare a report for the local media and community to address their concerns. Please include in the report i) What is the disease burden of TB in Australia? (e.g. incidence, prevalence, mortality) (5 marks) ii) How is pulmonary TB transmitted & how infectious is it? (high, moderate, low) (5 marks) iii) Who are the high risk groups for contact tracing, and in what clinical circumstances should more distant contacts or other members of the community present to the clinic for testing? (5 marks) iv) What procedures have been taken for the identified contacts, including follow-up (5 marks) v) When would the index case student return to class & how does the community know they are safe from infection from this source? (5 marks)
5. Quality of writing, reasoning, references and correct formatting also earns up to (5 marks)