Although the Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa has reduced significantly in intensity since it first started in early 2014, the outbreak continues. In addition, other travel-associated emerging infectious diseases continue to pose a threat to public health. Some of these diseases [such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and Ebola] can easily be spread from an infectious person, requiring early identification and containment measures to prevent a potential outbreak here in the US. Other travel associated diseases (such as Chikungunya and Dengue) are not spread by direct person to person contact, but do cause significant morbidity and/or mortality.
Early symptoms of many emerging infectious diseases can overlap with those of more common diseases, such as seasonal human influenza. Therefore, in order to prevent an emerging infectious disease outbreak, it is important for health care providers to take a broad approach when screening patients.
Ebola Virus Disease, MERS, zoonotic (animal origin) influenza, and other emerging infectious diseases often have non-specific symptoms which may be difficult to differentiate from more common infections, and may include:
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