Thanks to Greg Folkers for sending the link to this guidance: IDSA Ebola Guidance. Excerpt:
In early 2014, investigation of cases of fever, vomiting and severe diarrhea led to the identification of Ebola virus disease in Guinea1. Previously only a single case of human infection with Tai Forest Ebola virus in Ivory Coast in 1994 had been reported2, and Ebola virus disease (EVD) was viewed as endemic in Central, but not West, Africa.
The Ebola virus identified in Guinea appears to have had a common ancestor with Zaire Ebola virus strains circulating in Central Africa, with subsequent parallel evolution with them1.
As of August 21 2014, EVD in West Africa is now the largest and most complex epidemic of Ebola ever. More than 2,000 cases with a fatality rate of approximately 60% have occurred in Guinea, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Lagos, Nigeria. The World Health Organization now registers it as a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC)3.
Fever, myalgia, vomiting, diarrhea and/or abdominal pain are among the most consistently observed signs early in the course of EVD4-5. These symptoms are nonspecific and can be seen in other illnesses (such as malaria, typhoid fever and Lassa fever) common in the areas where EVD is presently occurring. Clinically evident bleeding is noted in only about one-third6.
It is critical to take a travel history from patients presenting with these symptoms7. This includes dates and location of travel to and within affected areas not just of the patient but of others with whom the patient has been in close contact.
For those who have travelled to areas with ongoing Ebola transmission, questions should focus on close contact with or care of ill persons, clinical or laboratory work in medical facilities, preparation of the dead for burial or participation in funeral rites and handling of bats, rodents or primates8.
Use of personal protective equipment (PPE) with any of these activities should be assessed as well. The average incubation period is 8-10 days (range 2-21 days)4.
Approach to the Patient
At the present time in the US, ill persons who have been in one of the outbreak countries should have both symptoms of and risk factors for EVD to be a suspected case8 including:
1. Fever of >38.6o Celsius (101.5o F) and
2. Severe headache, muscle pain, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain or hemorrhage
If the ill patient has the following exposures in their history, EVD should be suspected:
1. High risk exposures: percutaneous or mucous membrane exposure to body fluids of EVD patients, direct care of EVD patients without PPE, laboratory exposure to body fluids of confirmed EVD patients without standard PPE or biosafety precautions, direct exposure to deceased persons, including at funeral rites, in areas with EVD transmission.
2. Low risk exposures: household or casual contact with an EVD patient, provision of care or casual contact in medical facilities in affected areas.
Mike Coston at Avian Flu Diary has meanwhile posted CDC's new Ebola interim guidance.