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Is it Zika?

Three days after arriving in Ecuador, an American businessman develops fever, arthritis and a generalized maculopapular rash. Gastrointestinal and respiratory symptoms are absent, and a blood count performed at a local clinic is unrevealing. The patient’s family expresses concern over an ongoing outbreak of Zika virus infection in Brazil, and is not certain that this disease is also present in Ecuador.

How can GIDEON help ?

As we enter signs, symptoms and details of exposure into the left-hand box of the Diagnosis module, a ranked differential diagnosis box appears in the box to the right.

Assuming that all clinical features are related to a single infectious disease, 22 diagnoses are possible in this case. The disease with highest statistical probability is Chikungunya; but Zika, and several diseases you might not have considered are also listed.

Surprisingly, GIDEON does not list Dengue fever in the differential diagnosis. The reason for this is displayed by clicking on the “Why not” button at the lower left of this list.

Dengue was discounted because of the presence of arthritis in this case.

So, exactly how many mosquito-borne viruses are encountered in Ecuador? Let’s use GIDEON’s “fingerprint” option to generate a list:

At this point, we can study each of the diseases on the differential diagnosis list. First, let’s prepare a chart which contrasts the clinical and laboratory features of some of the diseases characterized by viral exanthem. Select desired conditions using the grey boxes to the left of each disease name, and then click on the “Compare” button.

Or study the status of each individual disease in the country of acquisition, Ecuador.

Or … explore the Global status of Zika (and every other Infectious Disease) in exhaustive detail:


This is a portion of the “Worldwide” note for Zika: one of over 22,000 notes which follow the status of each disease in each country. The complete note contains over 450 electronically-linked references.

A companion note outlines the clinical features of Zika.


As of December, 2016 these text notes are accompanied by 31,613 graphs, 357 maps and 4,233 images.