An Illinois Ebola scare spread widely through the news over the weekend after a claim was made that a patient was placed in isolation at Advocate Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Illinois.
According to The Daily Herald, a patient was placed in isolation at Advocate Sherman Hospital after he came into the facility Thursday, October 9, claiming to have flu-like symptoms after having recently traveled to Africa. The report went on to say that the patient was assessed for the Ebola virus, but hospital officials confirmed Monday that Ebola was quickly ruled out. The patient was reportedly treated for his symptoms and released on Friday, October 10.
“We knew from the start that the likelihood that patient would have Ebola was very, very slim, but we still have to enact all those protocols,” said Tonya Lucchetti-Hudson, Sherman’s director of public affairs and marketing.
Word soon spread and a post was made on abovetopsecret.com that read as follows.
“This is inside information passed on to me. Not a lot of detail, and I don’t expect more inside information until Mon-Tue, but good for a small glimpse into response regardless of outcome. Sherman Hospital has a potential Ebola case. The patient was in Nigeria within the past 10 days. Came in with weakness, fatigue & low-grade fever. They are wearing full contact and respiratory gear – beyond current protocols, as they believe the virus is more transmissible than CDC (publicly) believes. CDC has told them 3 days for test results. They expect to know sooner. Currently working on patient contact list. I don’t know any more than that, but will update with any further information that comes in.”
According to the Elgin Courier-News, Lucchetti-Hudson did confirm that the patient was immediately put into isolation and all of the Centers for Disease Control protocols were followed. The Daily Herald continued on to say that hospital staff members did wear protective gear and the Kane County Health Department and the Illinois Department of Public Health were consulted, but it was determined that the patient was not a fit candidate for Ebola and testing for the virus was not warranted.
This post and the rumor of a possible Ebola case in Illinois sparked a panic amongst many. Twitter blew up over the weekend with messages about Ebola in Illinois.
— barakitty (@DianaBarakattt) October 9, 2014
ALL ILLINOIS SCHOOLS CLOSED UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE DUE TO OUTBREAK OF EBOLA. http://t.co/vlD6SMrhl3
— mxg (@TheMeganArnold) October 14, 2014
Wtf they said Ebola is in Illinois now…
— victoriaaaaa (@callmeveee) October 14, 2014
@EbolaAlert Patient in Elgin, Illinois with possible ebola. Came back from Nigeria 10 days ago.
— Casey A. Babysitter (@Ryangreenwould) October 14, 2014
Lucchetti-Hudson stated that these hoax stories spreading around the internet are “unfortunate” and has stated that the hospital is investigating how the rumor may have begun.
“It’s just unfortunate, because people are already afraid of these types of things, and to post something not credible out there is not good.”
While the Illinois Ebola scare was simply that, a scare, the most recent confirmed patient with Ebola in the United States was identified as Nina Pham, a nurse who had been caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to bring Ebola to the U.S. According to an earlier report by The Inquisitr, Pham has received a blood donation from Kent Brantly, the doctor who survived the Ebola virus. Doctors hope that the antibodies in Brantly’s blood could help Pham battle the virus.