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The communicable disease chain model

Social determinants of health refer to social and economic factors that specific individuals have to deal with because of birth, status, gender, culture, race, income status, employment, physical surroundings and access to health services (Government of Canada – modified 2019).These determinants influence the behavioural and risk factors of individuals within specific geographical neighbourhoods.

Low income and culture are two of the many risk factors for diseases. Because of the lack of proper education, there is lack of knowledge that is essential to promote and prevent diseases and restore health. Culture plays a role because of traditions, customs and beliefs, the family may not think, act or feel the same way about their overall health.

The communicable disease chain model is a means of addressing the different transmissions that happens when the agent leaves it host (reservoir – human or animal or the environment such as mosquitos in stagnant water, poor air quality) through a portal exit and enters via transmission through a portal entry to infect a susceptible host. “Th emode of transmission is th emeans of the agent’s travel from the portal of exit to the host” (Green, 2018). This sequence is usually referred to as a chain of infection. If there is a break in the chain of infection, then it is aborted.  For a community that is already at risk because of social determinants of health it is important that diseases are addressed promptly to avoid the widespread infection. For example, in a nursing home where there are less workers and many patients, a staphylococcus bacterium, such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) can be passed easily via a source to a susceptible host. In order to avoid this transmission, proper handwashing is necessary before and after patient care to abort or prevent this chain of infection.

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