Daniel Eiras, MD, MPH, hospital epidemiologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, discusses Zika response at NYU Langone Medical Center.
Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)
“Soon after the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)] released their travel advisories in January of this year, we at NYU Langone Medical Center put together a task force of various different clinical services, emergency management, infectious disease, and the microbiology lab to try to address some of the vulnerabilities in the health system and allow for resource allocation. That was an important part of our process. We wanted to develop a centralized system so we can track patients and understand the areas where we would need to focus our attention and our education efforts.
We started off by developing a surveillance system where we could track patients through our electronic medical records. One of the main issues has had to do with testing; there have been no commercially available tests up until recently, and so, all tests had to be performed through the department of health or the CDC. This led to a significant lag time in terms of testing. [It used to take] up to 4 months, in some cases between initial evaluation and final results. These were patients that we had to track throughout that whole process.
That was one of the important steps, to develop this surveillance system. We were [also] able to develop educational tools [such as] posters, [as well as] online information [pages] for clinicians that we could use to target certain areas.”
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