Dear VEP Providers,

Attached is an excellent Medscape summary about the Ebola virus outbreak in Africa.  The mortality rate is approximately 50%.  Patients who recently traveled to West Africa and have the symptoms listed below could be infected.

Most patients develop symptoms about a week after infection:

  • First there is sudden fever up to 105 with intense weakness, sore throat, and headache.
  • 1-2 days later there is profuse vomiting and diarrhea.
  • After that, coagulopathy with thrombocytopenia can develop with bleeding from the nose or mouth and hemorrhagic skin blisters.
  • Finally renal failure along with multisystem organ failure and DIC can develop.

Ebola is very contagious but allegedly only when symptoms are present.  It is spread by direct contact with infected vomit, diarrhea, or blood.  It may also be spread by saliva, sweat, tears, semen, and breast milk.  Ebola is not spread by droplets like measles or influenza.

Be sure to isolate potential patients and use universal precautions with personal protective equipment.  Please read the full short article.

Robert Wyman, MD | Vice President of Quality
Tel: 925-225-5837 | Fax: 925-482-2838
[email protected]

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