Advice for Health Care Providers Treating Infectious Diseases in Patients affected by Hurricane Florence

PUBLISHED: Sep 21, 2018
Relevant to: Ambulatory Care, Critical Access Hospitals, Hospitals, Medical Office, Rural Health Clinics

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), clinicians assessing patients affected by Hurricane Florence should be vigilant in looking for certain infectious diseases, including leptospirosis, hepatitis A, vibriosis, and influenza.

Recommendations:

These recommendations apply to healthcare providers treating patients affected by Hurricane Florence

  • All healthcare providers should consider infectious disease etiologies in patients presenting with evidence of acute respiratory illness, gastroenteritis, renal or hepatic failure, wound infection, or other febrile illness. Some particularly important infectious diseases to consider include more common diseases such as influenza, and less common, such as leptospirosis, hepatitis A, and vibriosis.
  • For certain conditions, such as leptospirosis, empiric therapy should be considered pending results of diagnostic tests— treatment for leptospirosis is most effective when initiated early in the disease process. Providers can contact their territorial or state health department or CDC for consultation.
  • Local health care providers are strongly encouraged to report cases in patients for whom there is a high level of suspicion for leptospirosis, hepatitis A, and vibriosis to their local health authorities, while awaiting laboratory confirmation.
  • Confirmed cases of leptospirosis, hepatitis A, and vibriosis should be immediately reported to the territorial or state health department to facilitate public health investigation and, as appropriate, mitigate the risk of local transmission. While some of these conditions are not listed as reportable conditions in all states, they are conditions of public health importance and should be reported.

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