State Officials: Illinois Is Ebola-Free, And Ready For Any Cases

(CBS) – State officials assured the public Friday that Illinois would be able to handle a case of Ebola if the deadly virus is detected here.

“The bottom line is the state remains Ebola-free at this time,” Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck, the director of the Illinois State Department of Public Health, said at a media briefing in Chicago.

Hasbrouck, speaking with a variety of public-safety and health officials, said Illinois government has taken a number of precautions since holding a briefing last week about the Ebola scare.

More recently, the state has activated an Ebola hotline that will operate 24 hours daily, to field questions from the public; officials said there were more than 200 calls in the first day.

Also, Illinois expects to have the capability by next week to test lab samples for the Ebola virus, rather than having to send samples out of state, Hasbrouck said. Illinois anticipates approval from the Centers for Disease Control, he said.

Gov. Pat Quinn was expected to form an Ebola task force and announce members next week, officials said.

This week, O’Hare International Airport began “enhanced” screening of travelers coming from three west African nations were the Ebola virus has not been contained. Hasbrouck said more than 20 passengers are coming daily from those nations.

 

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