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Background and Impact of the Outbreak

Discuss about the Critiquing Report on Three Articles for Creative Gourmet.

The writer of the article seeks to express the trauma that Australian residents went through after consuming Nanna’s mixed frozen berries that were contaminated with Hepatitis A virus (Braithwaite, 2015). The article seeks comments from both those who contracted the virus and those who were lucky enough to remain healthy throughout the outbreak. It further stresses on the point that only berries imported from china carried the contamination.

The article comments that reading the details on the packaging of food substances is not a sure way to tell the source of the food for shoppers. This is not right as sources of food are clearly documented on the packaging and but unless the contents of the packaging are counterfeit, details provided should be a sure way of identifying the source of the food (Sun, 2016). It additionally noted that following the crisis, imported Creative Gourmet and Nanna’s mixed frozen raspberries and berries sourcing from Patties Foods were withdrawn from the selling stock of supermarkets with this being nothing but the whole truth. By however reporting that the above withdrawals were indicators of glaring holes in the security of Australia’s food, they were wrong as that was just a move to ensure that the food being sold in Australian is safe for consumption by citizens.

Further on, the article commends the relevant authorities at import gates for conducting tests to check on labelling defects and agricultural defects but again notes that the department lazes in conducting crucial tests for microbiological threats, the major ones being, hepatitis A, Listeria and Salmonella (Banner, 2018). The latter tends to be more lethal than even the fore mentioned. The identified weakness of the import authority department captures full support of various bio medics bodies across the nation.

This article was published following an outbreak of Listeria that shook Australia this year, February to be precise. It brings into the limelight hepatitis A as the disease that is most commonly borne through food. It further reports that prevalence of hepatitis A contamination in Creative Gourmet and Nanna brands’ berries in 2015 and 2017 led to the recalling and de-shelving of these products in Australia’s supermarkets. This reporting is nothing further from the truth.

The definition of ‘Hepatitis’ is brought forth as swelling or inflammation of the liver with the article attributing this to drugs, chemical substances or various types of viral infections. It does not however exhaust the list as there are more causatives of the same which includes toxins and alcohol (Kahn & Higuera, 2017). It again goes wrong by stating that Hepatitis A is the only food borne disease that is common whereas there are a vast variety of common food borne diseases. they include Campylobacteriosis, Botulism and Intestinal cryptosporidiosis (FDA, 2018). Additionally, it points out that hepatitis A have no capability of turning into chronic hepatitis unlike other forms of hepatitis which are hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The article however acknowledges the high potential of hepatitis A to cause failure of the liver which is again true (MayoClinic, 2017).

Discrepancies in Reporting Approaches

Further on, Grebert-Craig embarks on outlining how hepatitis A can be contracted. He states the major mode as faecal- oral route which is comprised of ingestion of water and food that is contaminated and handling of linen, towels and nappies that have been used to wipe faecal secretions from an infected person. Additionally, he outlined high risk foods that play a major role in spread of the disease as ice creams, shellfish, fruits and vegetables. This reporting is without doubt factual and hence true. He further points out the major symptoms as appetite loss, headaches, discomfort in the abdomen, aching of muscles, fatigue and general weakness. The pre-mentioned are true but he however fails to mention nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, malaise and dark coloration of urine and pale appearance of stool (Weatherspoon, 2017).

ABC news brings to public awareness an incident where diagnoses of hepatitis A in seven people has been confirmed following consumption of frozen pomegranate bought from various supermarkets at Coles (Muller, 2018). Despite pointing out that Entyce Food Ingredients, the company behind supply of the frozen pomegranates stated that “…we are exercising abundant caution”, it fails to clarify to the readers the exact measures that the firm has enacted to ensure that contaminated products are not part of their stock and does not therefore enter into the market for consumer purposes. By additionally reporting that this was not the first time products from this company are being linked to contamination with the disease, the article instigated high levels of buyers’ discretion towards the firm’s products. This will without doubt result to negative impact on the company’s sales.

The article further reports denial from the producer who ascertained that all the products that have undergone tests have no results linking them to Hepatitis A contamination apart from one isolated product. The article however took a commendable step by publishing a precautionary notice that had been given by NSW Health informing residents that there was sufficient evidence level and thus urging them not to consume the pomegranates. The article however does not mention the specific brands that are produced by the company in question and those that residents should keep away from until proven fit for their consumption and these can be termed as a fail. 

During cases of outbreak of communicable diseases, various bodies indulge themselves into seeking clear understanding of the prevailing conditions and to report the same. However, there are wide discrepancies between public health and biomedical approaches of reporting outbreaks of communicable diseases. As evidenced in the fore discussed articles, public health approach is generally aimed at creating awareness of the public about the occurrence of a disease targeting to eradicate any instances of new infections (Buffington & Jones, 2007). These approaches are what the larger society does and is willing to do to achieve health safety. The media have proven to play a significant role in the same. All the three articles were published immediately after the outbreak of hepatitis A and were aimed at creating awareness to the locals on the products that were linked to the outbreak and therefore creating user discretion towards the same products.

Symptoms of Hepatitis A and How it is Spread

Public health therefore monitors health status of the community in order to solve after identifying any problems related to health (Schneider & Isola, 2015). Investigations and diagnoses of health hazards and problems prevailing in the community is also a major function of public health. After all the above functions have been conducted, the most crucial role involves educating, informing and more importantly empowering the whole community on how to handle the whole outbreak while at the same time avoiding new contractions.

Comparatively, biomedical approaches are used to report results obtained after derivation of host parasite relationship in case of an outbreak (Curry, et al., 2014). Taking our case of hepatitis A outbreak, bio medics would have to indulge into extensive fieldwork to collect samples of vectors, infected humans and related parasites in areas where the outbreak has occurred. Genomic and biomedical technologies would be applied widely in order to report ascertained and well researched details (Wade, 2004). This approach also seeks to implement scientific endeavors such as sequencing of collected samples by means of biochemical, bioinformatics and molecular analyses. It is then from results obtained that biomedical approach is able to advice on therapies that they believe upon implementation will help ease the situation at hand. It is also from this approach that reports connecting to susceptibility of the population and any discovery of new agents that are infectious are made.

In conclusion, it is worth noting that biomedical reports play significant role in improving diagnoses during an outbreak, scaling up the level of treatment to be availed to the infected population, elucidating various variants of the human genetic composition that will affect metabolism of drugs given and finally, elucidating the development of resistance on drugs offered for treatment of Hepatitis A.

In the first article, Mathew Benns tends to rely more on other parties’ experiences and points of view while reporting on the Hepatitis A outbreak. These include Michael Dodge from Alexandria who is reported to have been lucky and Trudie Sims from Enfield who is reported to have contracted hepatitis A from the toxic berries. Unlike Benn, Grebert-Craig reports on this health issue by use of questions and answers though it is not clear where the responses were based on. Some of the questions he uses include what is hepatitis A? How do you get hepatitis A? And Is hepatitis A preventable? As opposed to The Daily Telegraph and The New Daily which cut across and demarcates various issues concerning Hepatitis A such as how an individual can contract it, ABC News reports primarily on its main causes and links concomitant with its prevalence.

Conclusion

From the three articles, it can be clearly outlined they are based on the same public health perspective. They are all aimed at creating public awareness on trending health issues that are making significant impact on the population’s health. Additionally, they are playing a significant role in educating the public on the basics of hepatitis A by outlining the symptoms that should cause alarm once noted. The articles are again actively involved in creating user discretion on the products of some companies that are deemed as major contributors of hepatitis A. Discrepancies in public health approaches and biomedical approaches have also been highlighted and the various reporting strong points of the two have also been identified. 

References

Banner, A., 2018. RECALLS: Hepatitis A, Listeria, Salmonella among food contaminants on this week's list. YorkRegion.com, 16 April. https://www.yorkregion.com/news-story/8397985-recalls-hepatitis-a-listeria-salmonella-among-food-contaminants-on-this-week-s-list/

Braithwaite, C., 2015. Seven People Caught Hepatitis A From Frozen Berries. VICE CHANNELS, 16 FEB. https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/bn5qbd/frozen-berries-are-giving-people-hepatitis-a

Buffington, J. & Jones, S., 2007. Integrating Viral Hepatitis Prevention into Public Health Programs Serving People at High Risk for Infection: Good Public Health. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1831807/

Curry, L. A. et al., 2014. Mixed Methods in Biomedical and Health Services Research. NCBI, 1 January. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23322807

FDA, 2018. Foodborne Illnesses: What You Need to Know. U.S. FOOD & DRUG ADMINISTRATION, 12 January. https://www.fda.gov/food/resourcesforyou/consumers/ucm103263.htm

Kahn, A. & Higuera, V., 2017. Hepatitis. HealthLine, 9 May. https://www.healthline.com/health/hepatitis

MayoClinic, 2017. Acute liver failure. MAYO CLINIC, 29 Aug. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/acute-liver-failure/symptoms-causes/syc-20352863

Muller, S., 2018. Hepatitis A outbreak linked to frozen pomegranates. The Sydney Morning Herald, 7 April. https://www.smh.com.au/business/consumer-affairs/hepatitis-a-outbreak-linked-to-frozen-pomegranates-20180407-p4z8bo.html

Schneider, K. & Isola, M., 2015. Population Health – the importance of taking a Public Health approach. SUM-IT HEALTH ANALYSIS, 18 November. https://www.sumithealthanalytics.com/news/2015/11/18/population-health-the-importance-of-taking-a-public-health-approach

Sun, D.-W., 2016. Handbook of Frozen Food Processing and Packaging. 2 ed. s.l.:CRC Press. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=sxzOBQAAQBAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Handbook+of+Frozen+Food+Processing+and+Packaging&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjN48Ti28bbAhUQTI8KHU4VBLoQ6AEIJzAA#v=onepage&q=Handbook%20of%20Frozen%20Food%20Processing%20and%20Packaging&f=false

Wade, D. T., 2004. Do biomedical models of illness make for good healthcare systems?. The bmj, 9 December. https://www.bmj.com/content/329/7479/1398

Weatherspoon, D., 2017. Causes, symptoms, and treatment of hepatitis A. Medical News Today, 18 October. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/308421.php

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[Accessed 30 May 2024].

My Assignment Help. 'Understanding The Impacts Of Hepatitis A Outbreak In Australia: An Essay On Reporting.' (My Assignment Help, 2019) <https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/critiquing-report-on-three-articles-creative-gourmet> accessed 30 May 2024.

My Assignment Help. Understanding The Impacts Of Hepatitis A Outbreak In Australia: An Essay On Reporting. [Internet]. My Assignment Help. 2019 [cited 30 May 2024]. Available from: https://myassignmenthelp.com/free-samples/critiquing-report-on-three-articles-creative-gourmet.

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