Write a paper in about 2,000 words in which you apply the concepts of epidemiology and nursing research to a communicable disease. Refer to “Communicable Disease Chain,” “Chain of Infection,” and the CDC website for assistance when completing this assignment. A minimum of three peer-reviewed or professional references is required. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide, located in the Student Success Center. An abstract is not required.


Epidemiology, as a field of study, plays a crucial role in understanding and controlling the spread of communicable diseases. Its principles and research methodologies provide valuable insights into the prevention, transmission, and treatment of infectious diseases. This paper aims to apply the concepts of epidemiology and nursing research to a specific communicable disease, highlighting the importance of understanding the disease chain and employing evidence-based practices in nursing interventions.

Communicable Disease Chain

The communicable disease chain is a framework that illustrates the various elements involved in the transmission and spread of infectious diseases. It consists of six interconnected links: infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host (Center for Disease Control and Prevention [CDC], 2021).

Using this framework, we can analyze how a particular disease spreads in order to identify points of intervention and break the chain of transmission. For the purpose of this paper, we will focus on the communicable disease chain of influenza.

Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It is transmitted through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. The infectious agent is the influenza virus, which can be classified into different types (A, B, and C) and further subdivided into strains (CDC, 2021).

The reservoir for influenza is primarily human beings. Infected individuals are the source of the virus and can transmit it to others through close contact. The portal of exit is the respiratory system, where the virus is expelled from the body through respiratory droplets. These droplets can contaminate surfaces and objects, leading to indirect transmission (CDC, 2021).

The mode of transmission for influenza is predominantly through droplet spread. When an infected person coughs or sneezes, respiratory droplets containing the virus can be inhaled by others in close proximity. Additionally, touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus and then touching the mouth, nose, or eyes can also lead to transmission (CDC, 2021).

The portal of entry for influenza is the respiratory system, where the virus gains access to the body. This can occur through inhalation of contaminated droplets or by touching contaminated surfaces and then touching the face. Once the virus enters the body, it can attach to respiratory epithelial cells and initiate infection (CDC, 2021).

The final link in the communicable disease chain is the susceptible host. Factors that influence susceptibility to influenza include age, immune status, and underlying health conditions. Infants, older adults, pregnant women, and individuals with chronic illnesses are more susceptible to severe complications from influenza (CDC, 2021).

Chain of Infection

The chain of infection is another model that helps us understand the process by which infections are transmitted from a source to a susceptible host. It includes six components: infectious agent, reservoir, portal of exit, mode of transmission, portal of entry, and susceptible host (CDC, 2021).

In the case of influenza, the infectious agent is the influenza virus. The reservoir is the human population, specifically those individuals who are infected with the virus. The portal of exit for influenza is the respiratory system, through which the virus is expelled from the body. The mode of transmission is primarily through droplet spread, although indirect transmission through contaminated surfaces is also possible. The portal of entry is the respiratory system, where the virus gains access to the body. Finally, the susceptible host is any individual who lacks immunity to the virus and can develop the disease (CDC, 2021).

By understanding each component of the chain of infection, healthcare professionals, including nurses, can identify points of intervention and implement preventive measures. For instance, promoting hand hygiene and respiratory etiquette, ensuring vaccination coverage, and implementing environmental cleaning and disinfection protocols can help interrupt the chain of infection for influenza.

Nursing Research and Communicable Diseases

Nursing research plays a vital role in advancing our knowledge and understanding of communicable diseases. It enables the development of evidence-based interventions, policies, and guidelines for disease prevention, management, and control.

Several areas of nursing research are pertinent to the control and prevention of communicable diseases. These include studying the effectiveness of vaccination programs, evaluating the impact of infection control measures, examining the role of nursing interventions in disease management, and exploring patient experiences and perceptions of infectious diseases.

For instance, numerous studies have investigated the effectiveness of influenza vaccination programs in different populations. These studies have provided valuable insights into vaccine efficacy, safety, and coverage rates, leading to informed decision-making and improved vaccination strategies.

In addition, research on infection control measures, such as hand hygiene protocols and personal protective equipment use, has enhanced our understanding of their effectiveness in reducing the transmission of communicable diseases. This knowledge helps inform healthcare policies and practices, ensuring the safety of both patients and healthcare workers.

Furthermore, nursing research has contributed to the development of evidence-based nursing interventions for the management of communicable diseases. For example, studies have examined the efficacy of antiviral medications for influenza, leading to the development of treatment guidelines that inform clinical practice.

Moreover, research exploring patient experiences and perceptions of communicable diseases provides valuable insights into the psychosocial impact of these diseases and the factors that influence compliance with preventive measures. Understanding patient perspectives can help tailor interventions and educational materials to promote behavior change and reduce the spread of infectious diseases.


In conclusion, epidemiology and nursing research are essential in understanding and controlling communicable diseases. Through the application of epidemiological concepts, such as the communicable disease chain and the chain of infection, we can identify points of intervention and break the transmission cycle. Nursing research complements these efforts by providing evidence-based interventions and insights into disease prevention, management, and control. By employing these concepts and utilizing evidence-based practices, nurses can play a vital role in preventing and controlling the spread of communicable diseases.

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