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Comparative Analysis of Zika Virus and Cancer

Introduction

Diseases are considered as a harmful deviation from the normal functional and structural state of an organism that is generally related to expression of certain signs and symptoms which differ according to the nature of injury caused by the organisms. Diseases can be non-communicable that does not transmit to others and communicable that is easily transmitted to other through contact. In this assignment, one of the communicable diseases that is Zika virus and non-communicable disease that is Cancer is to be compared and contrasted to discuss its threat at national, international and local levels. The health improvement approaches and techniques available in managing the two global health issues is to be mentioned. Thereafter, the health improvement strategies in relation to health promotion theories for managing the Zika virus as a key public health issue are to be explained. Further, the health resolution for tackling the Zika virus to ensure the well-being of the target population is to be described.

Critically analysis and comparing threat of Zika virus and Cancer at the international, national and local population

The Zika virus infection and breast cancer are one of the key communicable and non-communicable diseases present locally, nationally and internationally creating threat of affecting wide number of people. In 1947, Zika virus infection was first reported in Uganda and was sporadically found mainly in the African and Asian continents (Wilder-Smith et al., 2018). At the local level, in 2016, one of the largest outbreaks of Zika virus infection was reported in Cape Verde which was an island located on the coast of West Africa. It was reported that between October 2015 and May 2016, nearly 7,580 suspected Zika virus cases and 18 microcephaly cases are found in the area. The isolation of the genome of the virus and initial phylogenetic analysis indicated that the virus is possibly introduced from northeast Brazil and not from any African linage (Faye, 2020). The study by Diarra et al. (2020) mentioned that outspread of Zika virus internationally in Mali is been overlooked. Thus, the researcher performed survey of 793 volunteers who were asymptomatic in 2016 in the area. The overall seroprevalence of the disease reported in Mali was equal to 12% and the endemic transmission rate of 2.5% of Zika virus was detected in tropical Savannah sites of Mali. This indicates that Mali acts as a consideration area of spread of Zika virus infection.

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At the international level, Zika virus infection is mentioned not to occur naturally in the UK and the outbreaks are mainly reported in the Pacific and African region with the current spreading of the viral infection to the Caribbean Islands along with South and Central America (Poland et al., 2018). The Zika virus infection by the end of 2016 was found to be spread to 22 different territories and countries in America with reporting of 2,500 congenital cases and 175,063 confirmed cases of Zika present in 48 states out of the 532,000 suspected cases of Zika infection among the population (Ikejezie et al., 2016; Saiz et al., 2017). The five countries namely Argentina, Canada, United States of America, Chile and Peru reported Zika virus to be sexually transmitted among the population (PAHO, 2016). Before 2015, little information was available regarding Zika virus infection apart from small outbreak of the infection in French polyseia and Micronesia. However, the outbreak in northeast part of Brazil dragged global apprehension and focus regarding the infection (PAHO, 2016).

The study by Bhargavi and Moa (2020) mentioned that total number of Zika virus cases extracted from the survey of 19 countries worldwide mentioned presence of 84,276 cases. The findings made through EpiWATCh mentions that increased rise in Zika virus infection was reported in 2016 which declined by the year if 2017-2019. Among the identified cases, nearly 81,11276 cases are reported from USA. The study further mentioned that Zika virus seen to affect people of all age group, pregnant women and infants. The pregnant women are mainly mentioned to be at high risk of facing adversity on facing Zika virus infection. In the study between 2015-2019, the data from WHO are presented which mention 1736 and 2752 suspected cases of Zika virus infection in Bolivia and Panama along with 44 cases of microcephaly caused by the infection in the countries (Laengin et al., 2020). The number of deaths due to Zika virus infection is negligible and it is mainly found to cause development disorder such as microcephaly and other abnormalities (Laengin et al., 2020).

In comparison to Zika virus infection, the cancer is seen to be more widely present internationally, nationally and locally in any country or continent. There are various form of cancer such as breast cancer, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, skin cancer, brain cancer and others (Hegde and Chen, 2020). According to the global Cancer statistics report published in 2020, current 19.3 million cases of different cancer (18.1 million on exclusion of nonmelanoma skin cancer) is reported with 10 million (9.9 million on exclusion of nonmelanoma skin cancer) deaths due to cancer worldwide. The number of female breast cancer is reported to surpass presence of lung cancer globally (Bray et al., 2018). It is evident as 2.3 million cases of breast cancer is been reported (11.7% of cancer globally) followed by lung cancer (11.4%), colorectal cancer (10%), prostrate cancer (7.3%) and stomach cancer (5.6%) (Bray et al., 2018). In global context, lung cancer is been reported as the leading cause of death which is evident as 1.8 million deaths is mentioned to have due to lung cancer (18%) followed by liver (8.3%), colorectal (9.4%), breast (6.9%), prostrate (7.53%) cancer (Sung et al., 2021). It is predicted that by 2040, the global prevalence of cancer is to be 28.4 million which is 47% rise from 2020 indicating large changes to be seen in developed (64% to 95%) and developing (32% to 56%) countries. The figures mentioned are predicted to be further exacerbated by the current globalisation and economy (Bray et al., 2018). The figure indicates that cancer is wide spread in international context and the common cancer faced by people is colorectal cancer.

In respect of national level, in the UK, it is reported that 367,167 new cases of cancer are reported from 2015-2017. In between 2016-2018, nearly 166,533 people died in the UK and the preventable cancer cases in the country was reported to be 38% among the population of al age (cancerresearchuk.org, 2021). In comparison, in the USA, in 2020, 1,806,509 new cases of cancer are been reported with 606,520 people in the country mentioned to face death due to cancer. In 2020, 43% of cancer diagnosed in the US men are either prostrate, lung or colorectal cancer and 50% of cancer reported in women are mentioned to be breast, lung or colorectal cancer (Lokshin et al., 2021). The comparison of the figures of people affected by Zika virus and any form of Cancer indicates that the non-communicable disease (Cancer) has more worsened impact and threat of affecting people compared to the communicable disease (Zika virus). Moreover, Zika virus is present mostly in some parts of the continent whereas Cancer is widely spread in all the countries of the world making it a key public threat to be focussed for understanding the way to tackle and prevent its prevalence. In addition, wide number of individuals are seen to die from cancer compared to Zika virus, which indicates cancer to be a key threatful disease present worldwide compared to Zika virus.

Describing health improvement techniques used in developing strategies to enhance health and well-being of the population in response to the Zika virus and Cancer

In the event of presence of Zika virus and Cancer as two of the major global health issues, various health improvement techniques are used for developing an enhanced approach to be taken by healthcare workers all over the world in supporting well-being of the individuals suffering from the diseases. In the study by Ketkar et al., (2019), it is mentioned that there is no specific clinical or pharmacological treatment available for Zika virus. The normal health improvement techniques such as drinking plenty of water, taking over-the-counter medication like acetaminophen and others are used to help individuals get relief from the symptoms of the disease (Zhou et al., 2017). In comparison, specific and wide variety of health improvement techniques such as chemotherapy, immunotherapy, stem cell transplant and others are present for management of any form of cancer among individuals (Fukumura et al., 2018). According to Froeschl et al., (2017), the use of laboratory test of body fluids like blood, semen or urine are done as the approach for detecting presence of Zika virus infection. This leads to support health improvement of patients as through the tests the level of infection and its nature is determined which helps healthcare professionals to understand the support to be provided to the patient. In case of cancer patients, apart from laboratory test of body fluids, the imaging tests such as computerised tomography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and others along with tissue biopsy is used as techniques to detect the disease. This helps in supporting effective identification of the nature of specific treatment and to what extent they are required for the cancer patients, in turn, assisting to create effective care intervention needed for their health improvement and well-being (Kosmin et al., 2017).

The study by Kelvin et al. (2016) mentioned the use of mobile technology as health improvement technique for Zika virus. The study mentioned development and use of the Zika virus (ZIKA) Tracker voluntarily over the world at the private or public level to detect the prevalence of the cases of the disease in different areas or infection zones. This is effective approach towrads health improvement for Zika virus infection because the mobile application would help health workers to be immediately reported of suspected cases from any area leading them to take early intervention in the area in suppressing the spread of the disease. It would also help the social workers of each nation to determine in which areas of their country most to least suspected and confirmed cases of the disease are present which would assist them in effectively sharing resources in those areas to support enhanced treatment of the disease and promote well-being of the people at public as well as at private level. The fact is also supported by the study of Kostkova et al., (2019) where it is mentioned that ZIKA Tracker application in Brazil supported framing seamless reporting of suspected case and detection of infectious area regard to Zika virus infection. It also helps in developing real-time data for the public health authorities regarding the spread of the disease along with create enhanced surveillance of mosquito population in the country which is the key vector for transmission of the disease.

In comparison, the study by Yang et al., (2018) mentioned that health improvement techniques used for well-being of patients with cancer is chemotherapy. The chemotherapy is referred to the technique of using medication to destroy the cancer cells which is either provided intravenously, orally, through artery, topically or through abdomen to the patients. The key goal of the process is to carry the medication into the blood to be delivered to specific organs where the cancerous growth is been developed to destroy the cells and support enhanced well-being of the patient (Yang et al., 2018). In contrast, the study by Tan et al. (2020) emphasises that use of immunotherapy is one of the current health improvement technique implemented for cancer patients. The process involves use of clinical substances made in the body or laboratory to boost the natural defence mechanism of the body to fight and destroy the cancer cells. However, the study by Dwary et al. (2017) informed that it has not been able to support enhanced cancer treatment for promoting well-being of the patent. The use of chemotherapy following failure of immunotherapy is mentioned as most effective health improvement technique used for cancer patients. This is because it ensured destruction of the growth of the cancer cell and well-develop controlling in lowering progression of the disease.

The study by Davis and Oakley-Girvan (2017) mentioned that mobile applications are used as awareness and support techniques in health improvement and well-being of patients suffering from cancer. The study mentioned that different mobile application are present which mentions providing knowledge to patients regarding any cancer they are suffering, allow interaction with similar cancer patients, ensure effective planning and organisation of cancer care for themselves, develop strategies through discussion with the help of the application to adjust life to cancer and others. The applications are found to easily available to be accessed by the public. This indicates that similar to the Zika virus, there are mobile applications present as health improvement techniques for cancer patients. It is evident as the application are acting as informative as well as supporting reference to ensure well-being and good health of cancer patients from the disease. However, there are no specific treatment techniques available for the health improvement of patients with Zika virus infection which is present for cancer patients. This indicates that the later have better opportunities in the healthcare field to have supporting resources and strategies for developing well-being and coping with the disease.

Developing critical health improvement strategies for behaviour change by relating to health promotion theories to tackle Zika virus as public health issue

The evaluation and synthesis of statistics and information of threat and health improvement techniques regarding Zika virus infection and cancer mentioned that the Zika virus infection though is lowering, has significant adverse impact on the infants which hinders their normal brain development (Roundy et al., 2017). It is seen that wider and specific health improvement strategies for management of cancer are present globally (Greer et al., 2019). However, there is lack of presence of awareness and health improvement techniques for the well-being of patients suffering from Zika virus infection making people feel helpless while getting affected from the disease (Slonchak et al., 2020). Thus, cancer though being an increased threat of death for people globally compared to Zika virus infection, there is limited work being done for health improvement of people affected by the infection compared to cancer. However, Zika virus is acting as threat for the infants who are future of the world. Therefore, health improvement strategies in controlling the less explorable Zika virus infection are to be developed through the use of health promotion theories.

One of the strategies for health improvement regarding Zika virus infection is that critical awareness regarding the disease is to be developed in the society. This is because it would make people able to detect the presence of the disease at the earliest and intending them to take early intervention in tackling the condition to avoid increased progression and negative impact of the disease. The strategy is relevant according to the salutogenic health promotion theory which states that new and diverse resources and actions are to be drawn for the health improvement of patients such as raising critical awareness of the disease, developing social relation with the patient in the community and others (Valles, 2018). This is because such social effort would lead to create enhanced coping ability among the public in regard to the disease and create well-being for them (Haugan and Dezutter, 2021). The advantage of using the theory is that it leads to stimulate, engage and enhance the sense of coherence in making behaviour change in an individual which strengthen the formation of coping strategies to manage health problems (Valles, 2018). However, disadvantage of using this theory is that it does not present the social and subjective mechanism controlling health behaviour which is important for determining psychological approaches in health like preventing health beliefs and behaviour (Haugan and Dezutter, 2021). Thus, the other health promotion model to be used to support creating behaviour change in individuals required for controlling any disease is the Health-Belief model (HBM).

According to the model, the individuals when perceive that they are prone to face health problem are intended to involve in behaviour that may reduce the risk of development of the health issue. This is because the perceived susceptibility makes the people acknowledge the possibility they have towards development of the disease (Guidry et al., 2019). However, failure to develop perceived susceptibility regarding the disease makes the people in the population avoid being at risk of experiencing any disease (Elgzar et al., 2020). In this respect, one of the health improvement strategy for Zika virus infection control is making people in the tropical areas as well as other aware them of the level of risk they have of contracting the infection and way their current behaviours are influencing their probability of contraction of the disease. This is because it would make them acknowledge the risk they have in regard to the virus and develop effective actions required without delay to be safe from the disease, in turn, ensuring effective tackling of spread of the infection.

The HBM informs that to create behaviour change in individuals for tackling any health issue, the people are to be made aware regarding the severe health problem to be faced by them on being affected by the disease-causing infectious agent. This is because it would make them understand the potential negative consequences to be faced by avoiding creating change in behaviour (Moise et al., 2018). For example, people may consider Zika virus infection not to be medically serious, but if the individual perceives the seriousness of the impact of the infection on their health would develop preventing actions and create change in behaviour such as avoid visiting places of Zika virus infection even for sake of traveling. Thus, the other strategy is developing education program for creating awareness about the severity and health risk of Zika virus infection for all individuals irrespective of gender so that they develop intended change in behaviour required to tackle the spread of the disease (Casapulla et al., 2018).

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The HBM mentions to support behaviour change individuals are to be made aware of the health benefits they intend to face with the changed behaviour (Saghafi-Asl et al., 2020). However, without understanding the benefit of the behaviour change, people would avoid accepting the change as they does not find meaning toward altering the current actions (Guidry et al., 2019). Therefore, the other strategy for tackling Zika virus infection is education people in detail the benefit to be faced with their changed actions such as the use of full body clothes while travelling to any Zika virus infection prone areas, keeping clean environment, avoiding exposure to mosquitoes, avoid travelling to Zika virus infection-prone places, avoiding sexual interaction with people affected by the virus and others. The HBM mentions barriers towards making change in behaviour required for tackling the health issue is to be determined and techniques are to be implemented to resolve the barrier in supporting smooth behaviour change (Sulat et al., 2018). Thus, the barriers towards behaviour change required for tackling Zika virus infection is to be identified and resolved.

The modifying variables like age, race, sex, education and others may influence perception regarding the spread of the disease (Saghafi-Asl et al., 2020). It is evident as pregnant women, individuals with less education, polygamous culture in families are seen to act as modifying variable that create hindrance in accomplishing health improvement regarding Zika virus infection (Pomar et al., 2018). Thus, the other strategy required for tackling Zika virus infection spread and supporting mentioned behaviour change is ensuring the presence of effective education regarding the disease among pregnant women and ensuring avoidance of polygamous family in infection prone areas. The strength of using HBM is that it helps in creating enhanced psychological approaches to implement behaviour change in individuals (Saghafi-Asl et al., 2020). However, the limitation of using HBM as health promotion model is that it fails to consider and analyse the habitual actions and decision of the individuals that may act as account for the change in health behaviour need for establishing health promotion (Ximenes et al., 2019).

Describing resolution for tackling Zika virus to improve health of the population

The current evidence regarding the way to tackle Zika virus infection mention that no exact treatment and definitive diagnosis of the problem is identified. The vaccine intended to be developed is still in the phase I of trial without any definitive assurance towards the success of its use in resolving and tackling Zika virus infection (Abbink et al., 2018). In this condition, the key way to tackle spreading of Zika virus infection is taking the personal and holistic initiative to avoid being host for the disease or avoid being affected by the mosquitoes that act as vector for spreading the disease. This is because, in most mosquito-borne virus, the humans are the dead-end host whereas in Zika virus they act as reservoir of the virus to be capable to transmit it to others (Powell, 2018). According to Peters and Stevenson (2019), Zika virus infection can be spread through sexual intercourse. This is because Zika virus is found to be actively present in the body fluids such as saliva, amniotic fluid, semen and others where they persist longer than blood. Thus, the initial resolution for tackling spread of Zika virus infection is promoting safe sexual intercourse among men and women who are affected by the disease and prone to get affected by the virus. This is because it would limit the transmission of virus to other healthy host, in turn, limiting its prevalence in the population (Mbanzulu et al., 2020).

The solution for preventing spread of the Zika virus through sexual intercourse is mentioning people living in the Zika virus outspread areas to use condom while having sex. The habit is mentioned to be continued till eight weeks after the individual returns from any area with the risk of Zika virus outspread as it would reduce the probability of spread of the disease. The presence of symptoms in individuals who require the people to use condoms for six months even after the cessation of the signs of the disease for effectively tackling the spread of the disease (ecdc.europa.eu, 2021). The other solution for tackling spreading of the Zika virus infection and its adverse effect is mentioning women to avoid getting pregnant during the outspread tenure of the infection. It is to avoid the rise of microcephaly and other neurological disease as a result of the disease in pregnant mother for their child (ecdc.europa.eu, 2021). Moreover, travellers on return from Zika-affected areas are to be avoided to donate blood to others to tackle the risk of the disease. This is because blood act as an effective transmitting agent for other individual to develop the infection (ecdc.europa.eu, 2021).

The management of protective and indoor and outdoors would act as a solution for tackling the spread of the disease. This is because it would help to lower the number of mosquito attack and breeding grounds responsible for spreading the virus (Vouga et al., 2019). As mentioned by Vigilant et al. (2020), wearing long-sleeved clothes mainly from sunset to sunrise is effective way to control the spread of the disease. This is because Aedes aegypti mosquitoes acting as vector to transmits Zika virus are mainly active during the night. Thus, wearing long-sleeved clothes would limit exposure of bare body for the mosquitoes to attack and spread the disease to humans. The use of mosquito repellent is another way to avoid the bite of the Aedes mosquito to humans which are responsible for spreading Zika virus (Martin et al., 2019). The environment is another factor to be focused on while controlling and tackling the spread of Zika virus. The Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen to mainly breed in stagnant water and maintaining a hygienic environment for avoiding breeding ground for the mosquitoes would limit the vector responsible for spreading the infection (Sharma and Lal, 2017). The mechanical control measures to be implemented in tackling spread of Zika virus is implementing ovitraps to reduce mosquito population and creating enhanced awareness regarding the disease among the population to help them take action and make behaviour changed need to prevent the spread of the disease (Martin et al., 2019).

The study by Singh et al. (2018) mentions that effective implication of biological control measures is effective solution for tackling the spread of Zika virus disease. This is advantageous because biological measures help to strategically control the vector population without causing any additional harm to the surrounding environment. It also avoids creating probability of using chemicals in controlling the vector to which the mosquitoes become resistance with time (Martin et al., 2019). Thus, bacteria such as Bacillus sphaericus, Wolbachia and others are to be introduced and used and biopesticides in controlling rise of Aedes mosquitoes responsible in spreading the Zika virus infection. Moreover, the fungi such as fungi, Metarhizium anisopliae and Beauveria bassiana can also be used as biomeasure for controlling mosquito rise and spread of Zika virus infection (Singh et al., 2018).

Conclusion

The above discussion informed that Zika virus infection as a communicable disease and cancer as non-communicable disease are the two key health issues being faced globally. The local, national and international evidence mentions that Zika virus is currently under control but is a threat to some parts of the world like America, Africa, Asia Pacific and others where they show increased outbreaks over the years. However, cancer is found to be equally present in all parts of the world affecting people of all ages. The Zika virus compared to cancer is threatful as it has no specific treatment and diagnosis available, unlike cancer which makes it a controlled health issue to be faced by people during its outbreak. Thus, the behaviour change required for tackling spread of the Zika virus is to be developed with the help of the Health Belief Model and Salutogenic health promotion theory. The use of mechanical, biological and environmental measures such as the inclusion of ovitrap for mosquito control, limit sexual exposure of affected people, use of bacteria and fungi to control vectors responsible for the spread of the disease and others are to be made in tackling the infection and its prevalence globally.

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