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For Ebola patients, a few signs mean treatment’s needed — stat

New scorecard could help doctors quickly prioritize who needs help

By
7:00am, February 16, 2017
Ebola scorecard

EBOLA BY THE NUMBERS  Looking at some key risk factors may help health care workers triage Ebola patients.

A new scorecard, devised by analyzing Ebola patients from the most recent outbreak in West Africa, may help doctors quickly decide who needs additional care to survive the virus in future epidemics.

In the latest outbreak, which raged in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone from 2014 to 2016, 28,616 people were infected with virus and 11,310 people died. Doctors might be able to improve the odds of surviving by looking for a few warning signs in people who need to be treated more intensively, Mary-Anne Hartley, of the international charity GOAL Global and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, and colleagues report February 2 in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

“It can be very difficult to avoid bias when choosing which Ebola patient should be given extra care when you have limited time and resources,” Hartley says. “Should it be that sweet 7-year-old girl

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