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  • For example, if a group of American adults is experiencing severe illness, cough and fever, the most likely diagnosis is COVID-19. In this scenario, an infectious disease database platform ranks COVID-19 “number 1,” with a statistical likelihood of 87%. However, the program also lists an additional 76 infectious diseases. (Influenza is the second most likely diagnosis, with a probability of 8%.)

    Stephen A. Berger, MD, is cofounder and medical director of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Online Network.

    Not every cough is COVID, Healio, 2020

  • Think long and hard before deciding to meet up with friends or family. Your own health is a priority, and you want to be considerate of others, too.

    Contracting COVID-19 is a lot about the company you keep, explains Stephen Berger, MD, infectious disease expert and co-founder of GIDEON (Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network). But the places you go can make a difference, too.

    “Infectious material enters our body through our mouth or nose — either because you were within a few feet of a human carrier, or because something brought this material to the area of our face,” Dr. Berger says.

  • … if you want to make your voice heard at a protest, know that there are ways to lower your risk of catching—or spreading—COVID-19

    “Assume that the stranger standing next to you is spreading the virus,” adds Stephen Berger, M.D., infectious disease expert and founder of the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON).

  • Science publications about COVID-19

    “The volume is so great that what’s being published on COVID is equal to all the other research that is usually being put on infectious disease as a whole,” says Uri Blackman, CEO of GIDEON Informatics, which has put out medical databases since 1992.

  • “Lavatories are, unfortunately, ideal for the transmission of COVID-19. They are closed and poorly ventilated,” says Stephen Berger, M.D., an infectious disease expert and co-founder of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network.

    “Urinals and sinks are crowded together, and partitions rarely extend upward to shield someone’s face. Although toilet stalls are isolated, droplets and aerosols will continue to linger there, several minutes after the last user has left,” he says.

  • “During the recent wave of protest gatherings, we’ve witnessed total abandonment of social distancing,” said Stephen Berger, an infectious disease expert and co-founder of the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON).

    “The center of a large crowd is no different than a sealed off, unventilated room filled with potentially infected individuals – many holding large signs which will block the flow of clean air,” Berger told Yahoo Finance.

  • Experts say it’s possible we may see an increase in cases if people are unable or unwilling to physically distance.

    “The center of a large crowd is no different than a sealed off, unventilated room filled with potentially infected individuals — many holding large signs which will block the flow of clean air,” said Dr. Stephen Berger, an infectious disease expert and co-founder of GIDEON (Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network).

    “If even one carrier of COVID-19 was present at these gatherings, we can expect to see a wave of cases appearing during the next 2 to 14 days. Most will begin to experience symptoms 5 to 6 days after the event,” he said.

  • But you may be able to get COVID-19 through your eyes, as well. “Theoretically, the virus of COVID-19 could arrive to the eyes and travel down through our tear ducts into the nose and throat,” explains Stephen Berger, M.D., a double board-certified infectious disease specialist and microbiologist, and founder of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Online Network. This route of infection hasn’t been proven, but is suspected to be how some people get the virus.

  • Dr. Stephen Berger, an infectious disease expert and co-founder of the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON), also stressed the importance of 6-foot spacing.

    He said a “large, open, and ventilated” space is preferred — outdoors, if possible.

    “Before dining in a restaurant, the big question to ask is, simply, ‘Do they adhere to social distancing?’” Berger told Healthline. “Before sitting down and asking for a menu, check to confirm that the restaurant staff is wearing masks, and that these masks cover their noses and mouths.”

  • But do gloves protect you from COVID-19?

    “There is no evidence that gloves can protect us from acquiring COVID-19,” says Stephen Berger, M.D, a board certified infectious disease and microbiology physician, and founder of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Online Network. “The modern version of surgical gloves was invented to prevent healthcare workers from passing infection to the patient,” he adds. So gloves are probably more effective at preventing you from passing the virus to others than they are at protecting you from it — similar to fabric face masks.

  • To estimate this risk, we must start by drawing maps: where are these species and how much are they in contact with human populations? This is the study project that Timothy Poisot initiates by combining mathematical models, artificial intelligence and ecology.

    To better understand these zoonoses—diseases that are transmitted from animals to humans—researchers drew data from the large epidemiological inventory of human diseases identified, the GIDEON database.

    (Translated from French by Google)

    Predicting the next pandemic? (French), Agence Science=Presse, 2020

  • “Almost by definition, an exercise gym is swarming with objects and surfaces [that may] have been contaminated by other humans,” says Stephen Berger, MD, board certified in infectious diseases and clinical microbiology. “Repeated contact with workout machines, weights, etc., can transfer an invisible layer of bacteria, viruses and even parasites to our own skin and clothing.”

  • “Pathogens can be seen directly in specimens from the patient, often using a microscope, or grown in the laboratory over a period of days to weeks,” Stephen Berger, founder of the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network, said.

    “In most viral infections, specific antibodies can be detected for months to years following infection — and in many cases well into old age,” says Berger.

  • “All three countries have a coordinated, nationwide, centrally planned response as well as travel restrictions, both domestic and international,” said Dr. Stephen Berger, a double board certified expert in infectious diseases and microbiology and the founder of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Online Network.

    In addition, Berger told Healthline that “both Vietnam and South Africa have been strictly enforcing their chosen policies with police and military involvement. New Zealand and South Africa have employed nationwide lockdowns.”

  • Stephen Berger, M.D., a board-certified infectious disease doctor and co-founder of the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON), an online diagnosis and reference tool for infectious diseases and microbiology … [explains] “A gym is just another venue in which disease can be passed from person to person, and the risk of contracting COVID-19 might increase there, where group sports and games require close personal contact,” he explains. “The fact that you might be young and healthy won’t affect your chance of becoming [infected]; it will really only increase your chances of surviving an infection without severe or fatal consequences.”

  • “mobile phones are like international ambulatory five-star luxury hotels” for germs. In fact, he said, “no other type of everyday object can compete.”

    That point was seconded by Dr. Stephen Berger, co-founder of Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON) in Tel Aviv, Israel.

    “Cellular phones are ideal vehicles for the virus of COVID-19,” he agreed. “They are repeatedly exposed to material exhaled from our mouth and nose, and spend literally hours in our rather filthy hands. Viruses of this type are known to survive on plastics and stainless steel for two to three hours; on aluminum for two to eight hours, on cardboard and paper for up to 24 hours, and on ceramic or glass for up to five days.”

  • The answer here is: probably. Whether it’s safe or not depends largely on two things: where you live and the time you choose to go for a walk, says Stephen Berger, MD, a board-certified infectious disease doctor and co-founder of GIDEON (the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network), an online diagnosis and reference tool for infectious diseases and microbiology.

  • Using the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Online Network (GIDEON) database, it was even possible to date the start of this increase of global outbreaks in rickettsial diseases in 1971.

    Disease Ecology of Rickettsial Species: A Data Science Approach, Tropical Medicine and Infectious Disease, 2020

  • I reached out to an expert in infectious disease, Dr. Stephen Berger. Berger is board-certified in both infectious diseases and clinical microbiology and is a co-founder of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network. Here are his insights into the connections between coronavirus and food. The interview has been condensed and edited.

  • “Masks should be as closely fitted to the skin as possible,” Dr. Stephen Berger, an infectious disease expert and co-founder of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network, tells PEOPLE.

    “The nose must be covered,” says Berger. “Note that when people are tested for the virus, a swab is inserted into the nose — because that is where the virus is!”

  • “We are all swimming through an invisible swamp of bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites,” noted Dr. Stephen Berger, co-founder of the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network in Tel Aviv, Israel. “Those bookshelves and those pictures on the wall are teeming with ugly microbes. Not to mention your cellular phone, wristwatch, eyeglasses and everything else in your world.”

  • 9. Realize that covering up your face is not an excuse to not social distance:  … “Extremely small particles, including the virus itself, might pass through the spaces that allow air to pass,” explain Stephen Berger, M.D., an infectious disease expert and co-founder of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network. He adds that facial coverings do not cover the eyes, which is another channel in which the virus can be transmitted. “And face masks do not protect our hands, clothing, objects that we may be carrying,” says Berger. “All of these are exposed to contaminated secretions and might infect us at some later time.”

  • “Some of the underlying reasons why COVID-19 may be more deadly for men than women may include the fact that heart disease is more common in elderly men than in elderly women,” Dr. Stephen Berger, an infectious disease expert and co-founder of the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON), told Healthline. “Studies also find that high blood pressure and liver disease are more prevalent in men and these all contribute to more negative outcomes with COVID-19.”

  • Over 330 agents are used in the field of Infectious Disease, sold under more than 29,300 trade names worldwide. Drugs used against bacteria, parasites, and fungi take advantage of the biological nature of these organisms and disrupt their ability to grow and multiply, or utilize oxygen, sugars, proteins and other nutrients. Viruses, however, do none of these things – instead invading our cells and converting them into “factories” which produce yet more viruses. Thus, most drugs used against viral disease interfere with various stages of cell invasion or the interaction of viral DNA/RNA with the host cell.

    Status report: Drugs under study for the treatment of COVID-19, by Stephen Berger, MD, Journal of Public Health Management and Practice, 2020

  • In this edition of the Code Red Podcast, Allen Roth discusses the COVID-19 pandemic with infectious disease expert Dr. Stephen Berger. Dr. Berger is a co-founder of GIDEON, the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network, and was the Director of Geographic Medicine and of Clinical Microbiology at Tel Aviv Medical Center. Board-Certified in both Infectious Diseases and Clinical Microbiology, his expertise gives valuable insight into the ongoing global pandemic. Dr. Berger also served in the United States Navy as a Medical Officer in the 6th Fleet.

  • The GIDEON is a Global Infectious disease knowledge management tool that maintains up to date information on the latest trends in epidemiology and treatment. All the information available through GIDEON is from sources that are peer-reviewed and backed by scientific evidence. The information available through GIDEON is collected from various sources including ProMED. The information is accessed and collated through a system of computer macros which includes a monthly search of PubMed against a listing of all GIDEON key words, and titles / abstracts of interest are reviewed. All available national Health Ministry publications [print and electronic] are scanned, as are standard publications of WHO and the US Centres for Disease Prevention and Control (US CDC). Additionally, relevant peer-reviewed publications are continually examined for relevant articles. The GIDEON database contained 119 events over the period 2016 to 2018.

  • … a recent study by Murray et al. delineated biogeographic regions based on the popular GIDEON dataset …

    Data from the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON) contain pathogen outbreak information at the country level obtained from case reports, governmental agencies and published literature records.

  • The resource is intended for public health practitioners and specialists as well as educators and librarians. For the former, GIDEON serves as a tool for differential diagnoses and as a reference for treatment and epidemiological information. The reference functionality is useful to librarians, researchers, and educators.

    A Review of GIDEON, Doody’s Collection Development, 2018

  • One of the most powerful applications worldwide is the GIDEON system, which helps diagnose 337 specific infectious diseases in 224 countries. Its database covers 1,147 microbial taxa and 306 antibacterial agents and vaccines. The information it handles is updated weekly and includes more than 20,000 images, graphics, infographics maps, etc. All this allows you to reach 94% of correct diagnoses, and that is why it is one of the most used systems in the field of medicine.
    (translated from Spanish)

    20 minutos, 2018

  • GIDEON … founded in 1992, is the world’s premier global infectious disease knowledge management tool. It is an online application that helps users diagnose infectious diseases and stay up to date on the latest trends in epidemiology and treatment.

  • … a single source has compiled a staggering amount of medical information into a comprehensive collation of infectious disease outbreaks and surveys.
    GIDEON Guide to Outbreaks … describes 21,365 pandemics, epidemics, and case-clusters summarized in 5,120 tables, each devoted to a specific disease–country grouping
    GIDEON Guide to Surveys chronicles all published studies of disease prevalence

  • … a demonstrated positive effect on physician performance … available commercially … GIDEON …

    The most probable disease may be of little practical importance to the patient’s outcome. On the other hand, missing the diagnosis of a severe, albeit less-likely, disease on the differential diagnosis may have grave consequences.

  • The Gideon Guide to Cross Border Infections is organized by disease name and chronicles 2238 individual incidents involving 120 generic infectious diseases. The content expands a more traditional definition of “traveler” to include military personnel, expatriates and students. It also lists instances of disease which occur when animals and food vehicles cross national borders.

  • There are 354 generic infectious diseases in the world today, with 197 of these are endemic, or
    potentially endemic, to Brunei (Berger, S. (2016), Infectious Diseases of Brunei).

  • Stephen A. Berger, MD receives an Honorary American Veterinary Epidemiology Society (AVES) Diploma at the annual American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) convention in San Antonio, Texas (USA) on August 8, 2016

  • Fifty-nine percent of known human infections are associated with an animal reservoir, and awareness of these diseases among health-care workers and the lay public has grown steadily with the appearance of such conditions as Ebola, SARS, Avian Influenza virus and West Nile virus infection.

    Gideon and One Health, One Health Newsletter, 2016

  • These data were collected from the primary literature guided by the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network [GIDEON; a real-time database geared toward medical practitioners to aid in the diagnosis and treatment of human infectious disease]

    Rodent reservoirs of future zoonotic diseases, PNAS – Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015

  • We encoded, summarized and analysed a 33-year dataset (1980–2013) of 12 102 outbreaks of 215 human infectious diseases, comprising more than 44 million total cases occurring in 219 nations (table 1). The data are curated as prose records of confirmed outbreaks in the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Online Network (GIDEON)

    Global rise in human infectious disease outbreaks, Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 2014
    Referenced in Kommersant (Russian)

  • Occurrence records for mycetoma cases were obtained from published scientific literature via the PubMed database (www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov); we also used mycetoma data deposited in the GIDEON database (www.gideononline.com). Studies were selected if they described positive mycetoma cases, and were referred to specific geographic locations that could be georeferenced precisely.

  • Rats are the doyens of zoonotic disease. There are 352 generic human infections in the world today; rodents carry 85 of them that can cross the species barrier, according to Dr. Steve Berger, cofounder of California-based GIDEON, a global infectious-diseases database for health professionals.

  • I was able to find my way around the information quickly and easily … it is a comprehensive reference book that provides up-to-date accessible information. This format may particularly benefit those accessing it via a mobile phone. I can understand why it would work well in a clinical setting too.

    Review of GIDEON Guide to Antimicrobial Agents, SGM Microbiology Today, 2014

  • A total of 347 infectious diseases of clinical importance were selected for review based on the GIDEON database, accessed November 2010. GIDEON is an infectious disease information and diagnostic resource available online through subscription that derives its content from a range of sources including formal peer-reviewed journals and informal sources such as Ministry of Health reports.

    Global mapping of infectious disease, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 2013

  • Based on the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON), a global database including water-associated pathogens and diseases was developed.

  • GIDEON e-Books are an encyclopedia of infectious diseases across countries worldwide. They are continually updated and represent the only texts of their kind. They complement the excellent GIDEON on-line diagnostic tool and are a great addition to a library for those practicing infectious diseases, public health, global health, and even primary care.

    GIDEON e-Books, Journal of Travel Medicine, 2011

  • Every infectious diseases program should have a subscription to Gideon, Dr. Keystone said. Plug in the pertinent facts regarding a case and Gideon spits out the complete differential diagnosis, with the possibilities rank-ordered and accompanying treatment recommendations. Physicians can obtain a free 15-day trial through the website. “Gideon is probably the best geographic, computer-based, online program for infectious diseases that I know of. You don’t have to be smart to know everything about tropical medicine. If you’re looking for something to help you diagnose tropical diseases, this would be the one,” he said.

  • The 2011 ProMED-mail Anniversary Award for Excellence in Outbreak Reporting on the Internet was awarded to Steve Berger, GIDEON Founder and Medical Advisor.

  • Dengue endemicity was based on information from The Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Online Network

  • “[GIDEON] has now developed the GIDEON e-books system. This massive database, 411 books with 95,000 pages, presents material in 2 formats, by country and by infectious disease. Data are culled from papers published in journals, textbooks, Health Ministry publications, and materials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization.”

    GIDEON E‐Books System, Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2010

  • We compiled data on the number of human pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, helminthes and protists in each country or territory. Data were extracted from the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON) database … GIDEON is a medical database that provides continually updated data on the regional presence and the status of pathogens. The database has been used in a variety of recent studies of the consequences and patterns of pathogen richness and prevalence (Guernier et al. 2004; Smith et al. 2007; Fincher & Thornhill 2008a,b; Fincher et al. 2008). Globally, the GIDEON database includes 347 pathogens of humans.

    Global drivers of human pathogen richness and prevalence, Proceedings B of the Royal Society, 2010

  • Reported cases of salmonella in the United States rose in the late 1980s and early 1990s but have gone down since, according to Gideon Informatics Inc., a firm that tracks infectious disease trends. Lately salmonella cases have been holding steady at around 15 to 16 per 100,000 Americans annually, the company’s data shows.

  • “…there is no doubt that travel medicine practitioners, infectious disease physicians and microbiologists in need of a serious database will have to consider Gideon”

    GIDEON database, Travel Medicine and Infectious Diseases, 2009

  • Gideon: a jewel among information resources on infectious diseases in the Web (Spanish)

    Acimed, 2008

  • “Conclusion. The performance of GIDEON in diagnosing imported fever is relatively good and reproducible …”

  • We acquired human pathogen richness scores (number of all infectious diseases listed) for all contemporary countries/territories worldwide listed in the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network (GIDEON; www.gideononline.com) April–August 2007. GIDEON is a continually updated database available to the medical community and researchers. GIDEON has been used lately to explore the ecological correlates (Guernier et al. 2004) and globalization of human diseases (Smith et al. 2007). … We used GIDEON’s three-point scale of parasite prevalence (3=endemic, 2=sporadic and 1=not endemic) based on distribution maps provided in GIDEON.

  • “Data were obtained from the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Online Network (www.gideononline.com/), which reports current distributions of infectious diseases in each country of the world.”

  • “GIDEON is a subscription-based diagnostic and reference web application that provides extensive geographic and epidemiological information for 332 human infectious agents.”

    Globalization Of Human Infectious Disease, Ecology, 2007

  • “Presumed identification of Actinobacillus suis was confirmed by the Global Infectious Diseases & Epidemiology Network (GIDEON) software (100%)”

  • “GIDEON is an online database that definitely has a place and is (arguably) a necessity in today’s climate of rising infectious diseases and infectious disease warfare. GIDEON is also a great tool to foster diligent diagnosis of infectious diseases and attention to appropriate antibiotic or drug therapy which can impact the fight against resistant organisms.”

  • “GIDEON … is an interactive software tool for diagnosis and reference of infectious disease, tropical disease, and bioterrorism. It also includes information on epidemiology, microbiology, and antimicrobial chemotherapy.”

    Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 2006

  • “…an intellectual tour de force for helping physicians quickly and successfully respond to the diagnostic and therapeutic problems of seeing patients with infectious illnesses that either are intrinsically complex or may have originated in unfamiliar, foreign settings. In times when exotic travel brings exotic diseases into our offices, GIDEON provides world-class consultation. It continues to be the best designed expert program I have seen for medical practice.”

    Vincent J. Felitti, MD, Reviewer for JAMA, 2005

  • “GIDEON is an up-to-date and comprehensive resource for Geographic Medicine”

  • “…The programme is robust. Data are culled from Medline searches, meeting reports, WHO publications, etc, and are updated weekly. It is also easy to navigate, and allows users to enter personal notes…”

  • … GIDEON is a useful program that makes optimal use of the World Wide Web, with regard to both the access to and the presentation of data for the infectious diseases community.

  • … the correct diagnoses appeared on the differential diagnosis lists for 91% of the cases … we believe that GIDEON is a novel and potentially powerful tool in infectious disease diagnosis.

  • … a total of 332 different human pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, protozoa, and helminths distributed across 224 nations. Epidemiological data on PID species were extracted from the Global Infectious Diseases and Epidemiology Network database.

  • “All potential bioterrorism agents as specified by CDC are included in the GIDEON knowledge base” from Evaluating Detection and Diagnostic Decision Support Systems for Bioterrorism Response

  • … using an online diagnostic program called GIDEON … entering Alexander [the Great]’s symptoms – respiratory infection, liver disorder, rash – plus the link with birds, “the answer was West Nile, 100%”, says Calisher.

    Nature, The Guardian, 2003 (also in Discovery, Grani, Le Scienze)

  • When Alexander’s clinical symptoms were listed on GIDEON (Global Infectious Diseases and EpidemiOlogy Network) …

  • “… we used GIDEON (Global Infectious Disease & EpidemiOlogy Network), a software program containing caseload and diagnostic data on over 300 diseases for more than 200 countries, gathered from WHO statistics, journals and periodicals, and national health ministries”

  • “GIDEON is the epitome of its genre. If you are a clinician having any contact with infectious diseases, working in a microbiology laboratory … the Global Infectious Disease and Epidemiology Network is worth examining. This important program deserves widespread attention.”

    Vincent J. Felitti, MD, JAMA, 2002

  • “GIDEON … is an excellent tool for teaching and practical case solving, since it gives an exhaustive list of all possible diagnoses”

  • “Often, distinctive physical findings are not seen in returning travelers … A commercially-available diagnostic program, GIDEON can help in tabulating findings and providing differential diagnoses.”

  • GIDEON cited in ProMED over 400 times since 1995

    Search for “GIDEON” to see all the articles

  • “This program is highly recommended for travel medicine, tropical medicine, and infectious disease practitioners, particularly those residing in teaching institutions.”

  • “GIDEON covers over 330 infectious and parasitic diseases from over 205 countries … This computer-driven Bayesian matrix can help diagnose most of the world’s infectious diseases based on the signs, symptoms, and laboratory findings that users enter for their patients.”

  • “…the most comprehensive tropical medicine database available…”

  • “A slow-growing mucoid bacteria was identified as K rhinoscleromatis … by the GIDEON program”

    Chest, 2000

  • GIDEON, a computer program for diagnosis…

  • “This program does what textbooks cannot, and does it well.”

  • “The correct diagnosis appeared in 95% of cases…”

  • “In five cases, the GIDEON diagnostic module correctly supplied a leading diagnosis not considered by the admitting team”

  • “Anyone who has never used a good artificial intelligence program would do well to start at the top with GIDEON”

    JAMA, 1997

  • GIDEON provides information on Cholera

  • The 1997 ProMED Mail Award was awarded to Steve Berger, GIDEON Medical Advisory Board Member.

  • Computer Program for Diagnosing and Teaching Geographic Medicine

    Journal of Travel Medicine, 1995 (PDF)

  • Listing of GIDEON in German Medical Software magazine

    Deutsches Ärzteblatt’s Praxis Computer, 1994

  • A Computer-Driven Bayesian Matrix For The Diagnosis of Infectious Diseases

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