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With the help of decision support tools, clinicians can differentiate between vector-borne diseases during a season where more people are at risk. A decision support system uses two or more items of patient data to generate case-specific advice. In practical terms, the output of such systems is used to arrive at a specific diagnosis. Although none of these systems can “make” a diagnosis, they are capable of generating a list of diseases that are compatible with a patient’s epidemiological background, signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings.
Stephen A. Berger is co-founder and medical director of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Online Network.