This is the transcript of an interview with Tim Uyeki, MD, MPH, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) clinical team lead (Ebola response) and chief medical officer for the influenza division at the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
JMH: Thank you for taking the time for this interview. With all the excitement and anxiety, it is important to send a clear and precise message about this disease. Recognizing how busy you are, let me get quickly to our questions. My first question is, from a clinical perspective, what would you recommend for initial evaluation and diagnosis?
TU: Thank you Jon Mark. I appreciate this opportunity to help inform the ACEP membership about Ebola. The key, from a clinical perspective, is a good history. Essentially, there are two groups of people who are most at risk. The first is individuals recently returned from West Africa, and specifically the most affected countries of Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone who have had direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of a person who was sick with or died of Ebola virus disease (household, community, or health care setting). The second group would be individuals with direct contact with the blood or bodily fluids of a patient with Ebola virus disease in the United States (close contacts, including health care personnel). To date, in the United States, there have only been two imported cases and two secondary cases (nosocomial transmission to two nurses), other than a handful of individuals who had been medically evacuated for further medical care from West Africa. The key pieces of information to obtain are recent travel history, recent contact history, and timeline of illness signs and symptoms.