Urgent care centers in hurricane-affected areas have probably gotten into the habit of looking for sudden respiratory ailments and signs of illness related to consumption of tainted water or food. However, the vast numbers of relief workers and volunteers who flocked to help residents affected by the recent storms are now returning home, where providers may not have such issues at the top of their minds. Recognizing that, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued an advisory to remind clinicians to ask patients with certain symptoms whether they’ve traveled recently to hurricane-affected areas. Patients who have recently returned from travels to those regions should be assessed for leptospirosis, dengue, hepatitis A, typhoid fever, vibriosis, and influenza, according to the CDC. Patients should be considered at increased risk through March 2018, coinciding with the longest-term predictions of full restoration of power and safe water systems in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are expected to take the longest to recover fully.
CDC Offers Guidance on Treating Patients Returning Home from Hurricane Areas