Chicago Department of Public Health reassures public on U.S. Ebola case

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CHICAGO - In the wake of the first diagnosis of Ebola in the U.S., the head of the Chicago Department of Public Health is assuring residents that the virus does not pose a significant risk to the public.

The patient who was diagnosed with Ebola recently traveled from Liberia to Dallas, and is currently critically ill and in isolation at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital.  The patient has been in isolation since Sunday.

However, Dr. Bechara Choucair is assuring people that this case doesn't pose a significant threat to the general public.  She says her department has been working with health care workers for over a month to "ensure they are aware of diagnostic, testing, reporting, and infection control recommendations."

Ebola isn't contagious until symptoms appear, which can takes as long as 21 days after being exposed to the virus.  Ebola can only spread through close contact with bodily fluids.  Symptoms of Ebola include fever, muscle pain, vomiting, and bleeding.

For more information about Ebola, visit http://www.cdc.gov/vhf/ebola/.

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