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Fear Of Ebola Sends Ohioans To Hospitals; State Promotes Awareness

Oct 15, 2014

As the Ebola outbreak continues in West Africa and reports  a second health care worker in Dallas has tested positive for the disease have emerged-- fear among Ohioans seems to be mounting. 

But state health officials want people to stay calm and to get educated. Ohio Public Radio's Andy Chow reports.

Hospitals around the state are seeing an influx of patients who fear they’ve contracted the Ebola virus. However Ohio has yet to see its first case of Ebola—most patients end up being diagnosed with the flu.

The Ohio Department of Health and other top medical officials stress that most Ohioans shouldn’t worry about being infected—only those who have recently traveled to West Africa and have come into contact with the blood or body fluid of someone who has the disease.

But Sheila Hiddleson with the Association of Ohio Health Commissioners says the state is prepared with protocols like back tracing—finding everyone that may have come into contact with an Ebola patient.

Hiddleson: “And as we do that we’re going to be classifying people as a low, medium, or high risk and then implementing monitoring procedures with those folks.”

Health department officials say they continue to follow news from the Centers for Disease Control just in case they need to tweak their protocols.

They add that Ohioans should still take the flu seriously and urge people to get their flu shots.