This infection terrifies me since the man was not diagnosed for an entire year! The damage that could have happened in a months time is pretty serious. I do not know what symptoms he presented with, but I would think that someone presenting with signs of a hemorrhagic fever would be at the top of the CDCs priority list, especially someone with a history of recent travel to Africa. That's why I'm terrified that it took them a year to determine the diagnosis.
In this age of quick and easy international travel, we all need to take precautions. According to the CDC, people traveling internationally should
- Avoid contact with bats and other wild animals. Travelers should not enter caves or mines where bats may live.
- Go to a doctor right away if you have a fever AND you had contact with animals or sick people, or visited bat-infested caves in Africa during the past three weeks.
- If you are bitten or scratched by an animal or if body fluid (such as saliva) from the animal gets into your eyes, nose, mouth, or a wound, take these steps:
- Wash the area thoroughly with soap and water.
- Go to a doctor or hospital right away.
- Consider buying medical evacuation insurance if you are visiting a country where there may not be good access to medical care.