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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

BU Study Finds Narrow Focus on Ebola May Miss Other Ailments

Clinicians looking for Ebola among sick travelers coming from West African countries may miss more common deadly illnesses, especially malaria, which requires quick diagnosis and appropriate treatment, according to a study co-authored by a Boston University School of Public Health (BUSPH) researcher.

The study by Dr. David Hamer, professor of global health, and colleagues in the GeoSentinel Surveillance Network, cautions that evaluating travelers for malaria and other life-threatening conditions should not be delayed while looking for Ebola.

“The differential diagnosis of illness in travelers arriving from countries with widespread Ebola virus transmission must include not only [Ebola] but also malaria and other more common infections, such as influenza, other respiratory tract infections, and travelers’ diarrhea,” says the study, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

“The optimal strategy is preventing infections through comprehensive pre-travel interventions and, for ill travelers, promptly diagnosing and treating illnesses, such as malaria, and initiating empirical treatment if bacteremia, influenza, or meningitis is suspected.”

To read more about the study, go to: http://www.bu.edu/sph/2015/05/27/narrow-focus-on-ebola-may-miss-other-ailments/