2.2 General approaches in the prevention and control of communicable diseases
You now have a working knowledge of factors involved in the chain of disease transmission (described in Study Session 1), and how to classify communicable diseases. This knowledge will help you to identify prevention and control measures that can be applied at each link in the chain. When we say prevention it refers to measures that are applied to prevent the occurrence of a disease. When we say control it refers to measures that are applied to prevent transmission after the disease has occurred. Most of the measures for prevention and control of communicable diseases are relatively easy and can be applied using the community’s own resources. You have an important role in educating the public to apply these measures effectively.
You have learned that prevention and control of communicable diseases involves interventions to break the chain of transmission. Can you recall the six factors involved in the chain?
They are the infectious agent, the reservoir, the route of exit, the mode of transmission, the route of entry, and the susceptible host.
We can simplify the discussion of prevention and control measures acting on the chain of transmission by merging these six factors into three groups:
- Infectious agents in the reservoir of infection and the route of exit from the reservoir are discussed under the heading ‘reservoir’.
- The ‘mode of transmission’ is the second category that we will discuss.
- The route of entry and the susceptible host are discussed under the heading ‘susceptible host’.
2.1.2 Epidemiologic classification
2.2.1 Measures targeting the reservoir of infection