Current Suspected Overdose Deaths in Delaware for 2019: Get Help Now! logo

Delaware Health Alert Network #352

September 22, 2015 4:28 pm

Health Advisory
(UPDATED 9/22/2015)


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:

  • Fever
  • Severe headache or muscle pain
  • Diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain
  • Weakness, fatigue
  • Difficulty breathing, shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Sore throat or runny nose

Recommendations for Health Care Providers

  • Develop a protocol to ensure that sick people visiting your facility are screened for travel to destinations outside of the continental U.S., and that they are also screened for unusual exposures (including exposure to sick animals).
  • A sample screening protocol is available on the DPH website at
  • Ensure that your facility’s protocol allows for the immediate separation of suspect patients from common areas. Also ensure that you have at least a few sets of personal protective equipment on hand for staff completing examinations to use, should the need arise.
  • Call DPH at 888-295-5156 immediately to report any suspected cases of an emerging infectious disease, particularly if you suspect a disease that is highly contagious.
  • Encourage patients to get an annual influenza vaccination.

For More Information:


You are receiving this email because you are a registered member of the Delaware Health Alert Network. If you are not a member and would like to subscribe, please register at

Download Adobe Acrobat Reader Please note: Some of the files available on this page are in Adobe PDF format which requires Adobe Acrobat Reader. A free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader can be downloaded directly from Adobe . If you are using an assistive technology unable to read Adobe PDF, please either view the corresponding text only version (if available) or visit Adobe's Accessibility Tools page.

Categories of Health Alert messages:

  • Health Alert: Conveys the highest level of importance; warrants immediate action or attention.
  • Health Advisory: Provides important information for a specific incident or situation; may not require immediate action.
  • Health Update: Provides updated information regarding an incident or situation; unlikely to require immediate action.
NOTE: This page is for informational purposes only and dated material (e.g. temporary websites) may not be available.