Chicago Prepares for Ebola Impact as Attorney General Warns of Scams
According to Madigan’s office, several residents have alerted her office to phishing emails titled “People being quarantined” that may trigger a virus on the recipient’s computer.
The email says it’s an “Ebola Pandemic Update” and includes a link to a “civilian crisis protocol.” Clicking on the link may infect computers with a virus, Madigan's office says.
Another email scam offers a $29 “surplus personal protection kit” that is supposedly provided to emergency response teams and law enforcement agencies.
“We suspect these emails are the handiwork of scammers seeking to take advantage of people’s understandable fear and anxiety surrounding this international public health risk,” Madigan says. “It’s extremely important that you delete these messages and instead consult legitimate resources for more information about prevention measures underway.”
Chicago hospitals prepare
Hospitals all across the country are preparing for the possibility of an Ebola outbreak, as two nurses from Dallas battle the virus they contracted while treating the first man to die in the U.S. from the virus, Thomas Eric Duncan.
Highly rated Chicago hospitals like Edward Hospital in Naperville are also making plans to fight the virus. According to one report, Edward staffers have received training for two months on how to spot Ebola, and hospital officials have established protocols for treating patients while at the same time protecting employees.
The hospital also placed signs in its emergency rooms asking patients to inform medical workers if they have recently traveled abroad.
While a specific Chicago hospital is not yet designated as a regional treatment location, staff at Rush University Medical Center recently took part in extensive Ebola treatment training, and Centers for Disease Control officials are considering Rush for a centralized treatment center for Chicago, according to reports. Nine doctors and 21 nurses at the hospital already have received specialized Ebola training.
O’Hare International Airport puts Chicago at a heightened risk of an Ebola outbreak given the number of international flights arriving every day. The CDC began this week screening all passengers flying into O’Hare from the West African nations of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.
Those exhibiting symptoms will be will be evaluated by a CDC public health officer, and may be subject to immediate quarantine.
"We work to continuously increase the safety of Americans," says CDC Director Tom Frieden. ”We believe these new measures will further protect the health of Americans, understanding that nothing we can do will get us to absolute zero risk until we end the Ebola epidemic in West Africa."