Signs and symptoms selection
Choose country and all clear-cut signs, symptoms and laboratory test results that you feel are related to the disease in question. The diagnostic specificity of this app increases with each additional entry. The absence of a certain finding is often as helpful as its presence.
- A (left click) displays a positive indication.
- A (right click) displays a negative indication.
- Note that appears when a sign or symptom is incompatible with one of those marked.
Some of the signs and symptoms have a to the left of the finding. When you click on it, that symptom or sign list expands, displaying more exact possible findings. For example, the heading “Dermatological – Skin and Soft Tissue” is followed by a listing of possible skin lesions.
In some cases, you may wish to generate a list of all diseases associated with a single finding or small group of findings (e.g., all of the diseases characterized by splenomegaly and eosinophilia). Such lists are often useful as teaching tools, but have limited value in diagnosing a specific patient.
Note: A built in safety mechanism ( fills the check box) prevents the entry of mutually-exclusive parameters (e.g., both vaginitis and orchitis) for the same patient. In some cases, seemingly contradictory findings (e.g., both neutropenia and neutrophilia) are permitted, since they may appear at different times during a given disease episode.
Country of disease acquisition
Generally the list of country names corresponds to accepted geographical and political designations. Certain territories, protectorates, etc are listed separately when their infectious disease status differs significantly from that of the ‘mother’ country. Thus Puerto Rico and Guam are processed as autonomous epidemiological entities by GIDEON. In contrast, newer countries or semi-autonomous regions (ie, East Timor, Scotland) will continue to appear in the app as part of the mother-nation (ie, Indonesia, United Kingdom).
The default < Worldwide > option is useful when generating a comprehensive list of diseases associated with a specific clinical finding worldwide.
There are cases when you know a country by another name, such as Burma, which is not in the general country list. You can use the Synonyms option in Diagnosis and Diseases submodules by clicking to find a current or past name. You can also use this option for other cases:
- Part of a country, e.g., Corsica (France).
- Older names, e.g., French Somaliland (Djibouti).
The Bioterrorism simulator is designed for diagnosis and informatics relevant to the military and paramilitary use of human Infectious Disease agents. You will note that ‘< Bioterrorism simulator >’ is listed as a ‘Country’ in both the Diagnosis and Diseases modules. When clinical signs and symptoms are entered in the Diagnosis module, the resulting differential diagnosis list includes only diseases considered as potential agents of bioterrorism. Note that this list is not Bayesian; ie, all relevant diseases are assigned an equal ‘incidence’ when calculating probability.
Notes in the Diseases module stress the historical and epidemiological aspects of relevant diseases as they apply to bioterrorism.