Ebola call center opens in Indianapolis to answer questions, address concerns

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Oct. 20, 2014)– The Indiana State Department of Health opened a call center Monday to answer questions from the public regarding the Ebola virus.

The call center telephone number is (877) 826-0011. It is open Monday through Friday, 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Call (877) 561-0044 for the hearing impaired.

“There are a lot of questions about Ebola right now and unfortunately quite a bit of misinformation going around,” said State Health Commissioner William VanNess, M.D. “The call center will provide people with a way to easily speak directly to a state health representative to get the information they need.”

The Ebola virus is not spread through the air, by water or food, or by casual contact. People with Ebola can only spread the Ebola virus when they have symptoms. There is no known risk of transmission if someone does not have symptoms. Ebola is only spread through direct contact with blood or body fluids (including but not limited to urine, saliva, feces, vomit and semen, or a needlestick) of a person who is sick with Ebola or the body of a person who has died from Ebola.

Symptoms of Ebola may appear anywhere from two to 21 days following exposure to body fluids of a person infected with the virus, but often appear between eight and 10 days following exposure. People are contagious as long as their blood and bodily fluids contain the virus. People who do not have symptoms are not contagious.

Symptoms of Ebola include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Joint and muscle pain
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Stomach pain
  • Lack of appetite
  • Abnormal bleeding

“Early symptoms of Ebola are similar to influenza, which is why it is essential for our healthcare providers to check travel history when receiving a patient with flu-like symptoms,” said Dr. VanNess. “Only individuals who have traveled to Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia are at risk of having been exposed.”

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