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Reverse 911 calls alert Dallas residents: 'Your neighbor has Ebola'


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(NaturalNews) Dallas health authorities are doing a poor job of alleviating fears over Ebola, as a sort of reverse 911 automated telephone call "alerted" hundreds of people in recent days with this chilling message: "Your neighbor has Ebola."

The Huffington Post reported that every address within a four-block radius of the nurse, Nina Pham, 26, in Northeast Dallas received phone calls on October 12 after she became the second person in the city -- and the U.S. -- to test positive for the virus.

Recorded in a male voice, the call informed residents that Pham was "in the hospital and isolated," and that going forward there is "no ongoing danger to your health."

Pham works at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where she helped take care of the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the U.S., Thomas Eric Duncan, who died October 8. She became the first person to contract the deadly disease while on U.S. soil; Duncan brought it back with him from his home country of Liberia, the hardest-hit of the three most-affected West African nations (Sierra Leone and Guinea are the others).

Reverse 911 call

As reported by The Huffington Post, the text of the message is as follows:

This is an important message from the city of Dallas.

Please be advised that a heath care worker who lives in your area has tested positive for Ebola. This individual is in the hospital and isolated. Precautions are already in process to clean all known potential areas of contact to ensure public health.

While this may be concerning, there is no ongoing danger to your health. The virus does not spread through casual contact. The City of Dallas is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dallas County, Dallas Independent School District, and Community Leaders to protect your health.

For more information please call 311 or Dallas County Health and Human Services at 214-819-2004.

Public officials say the call was designed to send information to residents and to keep them calm following news that Pham had tested positive for the disease. But some say it had just the opposite effect.

In the meantime, however, police officers teamed with volunteers to go door-to-door in the area, to pass out flyers and to explain what had happened. While officials say there is nothing more to be concerned about, they are nevertheless worried that some residents in the area who do not have telephones or who were not in their homes at the time of the call did not get informed.

'We had this plan in place'

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings did stress that there was little risk of contracting Ebola without actually coming into contact with bodily fluids from someone who was showing symptoms.

"We had this plan in place last week," he told DallasNews.com, defending the auto-call. "So when we got this phone call, which we thought we might get, we put an action team in place and they have been working all this [prior] evening so that as people are waking up they know that they are safe."

Officials have sent a decontamination team to Pham's apartment. Also, they made arrangements to care for her dog.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention chief Dr. Thomas Frieden said Pham's case raises some serious concerns surrounding the virus. because she was reportedly wearing full protective clothing -- mask, gown and shield -- when caring for Duncan, but she still caught the virus after, he says, a "breach of safety protocol," which he has yet to publicly identify.

"It is deeply concerning that the infection occurred," Frieden said at a recent news conference. He added that Ebola treatment "protocols work... but we know that even a single lapse or breach can result" in spreading the virus.

Learn all these details and more at the FREE online Pandemic Preparedness course at www.BioDefense.com






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