February 4th 2016
When “Ebola” became a household word for most Americans in 2015, few realized that a more sinister outbreak was unfolding in their own back-yard. Chikungunya, a dengue-like illness which had previously been limited to the jungle areas of Africa and Asia, suddenly appeared in Latin America, resulting in over 2 million cases as of January 2016. And then Zika virus followed in the same region, threatening to attack a similar number of people. Unlike Chikungunya and Dengue, Zika virus infection has now been identified as a major cause of microcephaly (abnormally-small head) and other severe neurological disorders in babies born to women who are infected by Zika virus in early pregnancy.
GIDEON has been closely following Ebola, Chikungunya, Zika … and every other infectious disease – for over twenty five years. Health care profesionals can enter the signs and symptoms of patients from affected countries, and display a comprehensive, ranked list of possible diseases.
Findings of a recent patient treated after returning from Suriname with fever and rash were entered into GIDEON:
Note the red arrows to the right. GIDEON has indeed “considered” that the patient might be suffering from Chikungunya, Dengue, Zika – and a host of other common and lesser-known conditions.
Users can easily access extensive background information on the diseases themselves, including maps, pictures and graphs, or explore their status on the global level, or within individual countries. In this example, GIDEON compares the clinical features of Dengue, Chikungunya and Zika:
GIDEON maps the current global distributions of these three diseases: