posted at 19:50
Author Name: Kerry Sheridan
Flu or Ebola? US hospitals prepare for a confusing season
First is the Ebola epidemic in West Africa that spilled into the United States when a Liberian man traveled to Texas in September and infected two nurses who helped care for him. Influenza causes cough, sore throat and runny nose, while Ebola does not. To illustrate these differences, the CDC has issued a flyer titled "Flu or Ebola?" that offers a side-by-side comparison, available at www. As part of increased screening measures, patients around the country are now asked to fill out a questionnaire asking if they have traveled to West Africa recently and if they have any Ebola symptoms. "The only problem is we are all spending a lot of time getting prepared for Ebola, so we may have lost our focus a bit on influenza and preparation for the influenza season," she told AFP. The current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa is the world's largest in history, killing more than 4,900 people and infecting more than 13,000 since the beginning of the year. Only a doctor can tell if a patient should be tested for Ebola, based on travel history and potential exposure to infected patients. "The important thing is not to panic. The most important thing to be concerned about is the flu, not Ebola," said Robert Glatter, an emergency physician at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York.

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