Rhode Island Physician: Ebola can be Diagnosed without Waiting for Lab results

After a considerable time of experience in organizing and managing an Ebola clinic in Africa last year, Adam Levine , a Rhode Island physician and his group revealed their discovery to determine if a patient actually is infected or not before lab results arrive.

Levine came up with a diagnostic tool that he eventually developed while he was doing his job with the International Medical Corps as it organized its first Ebola treatment center. Levine is an emergency medicine physician at Rhode Island Hospital and the Miriam Hospital. He is also a professor at Brown University.

Levine tried to find a way to tackle the problem since Ebola appears to be hard to diagnose. The symptoms are common and lab results could take long from one to three days to finish.

“There is a lag time between a suspected case and a confirmation,” stated Levine.

Doctors had a hard time deciding on whether to put patients suspected with Ebola in a place where confirmed patients with Ebola are confined since it would put patients at risk if they are eventually diagnosed without the disease.

This made it difficult for the physicians to decide between two opposite goals, Levine stated that one is “epidemiological imperative to stop the epidemic,” he said, while the other is “the Hipporactic Oath, the first of which is to do no harm.”

He finally came back from Liberia with an idea set in his mind as “almost immediately I moved into the mode of helping set out to examine data … to see if we could learn how to respond better in the future.”

“I was struck about how little there was in the literature about how to respond to the disease,” he said.

Suggestions by some world health organizations were that physicians should utilize an algorithm gathered from 14 symptoms to find out if the patient is infected or not with Ebola.

Levine had used the data and came up with an “Ebola Prediction Score” which he claims

to be more advanced since it points only on six factors which are differently weighed. Such factors involve contact with an Ebola infected person, diarrhea, absence of stomach pain ,  swallowing problem , muscle pain and food aversion.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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