One Ohio woman put Columbus emergency crews on high alert after she called 911 claiming that her sister had contracted Ebola.
The deadly virus is nothing to mess around with as it has taken thousands of lives in Africa and one here in the U.S. People in the states are living in fear of an outbreak as two Dallas nurses (one of whom flew a day before showing symptoms) became infected with Ebola after treating Thomas Eric Duncan.
When an unnamed woman called 911 for help, she told an operator that her sister was running a fever of 107 degrees. The Columbus Dispatch reports that she was then transferred to speak with Division of Fire, and she told them that her sister might have Ebola because she had recently been to Africa.
Emergency crews in Hazmat suits promptly arrived at her home and whisked the woman’s sister off to the hospital as they secured the residence with police tape. The good news is that this was a perfect execution of their procedure about what to do in the event that someone reports a case of Ebola. The bad news is that the patient did not actually have the virus, and the woman who made the call was lying about her sister’s condition.
Authorities explained that the woman tricked emergency crews because she thought that crying Ebola would get her some medical attention faster. She was right, but this was still a bad idea and a selfish thing to do.
Columbus Public Health official Jose Rodriguez told Mediaite, “We are trying to protect the community, and a hoax really wasted our resources.”
Although neither of the women in this incident have been identified, Police Sgt. Rich Weiner told the Columbus Dispatch that charges could be filed pending an investigation. That would be exactly what she deserves for sending dozens of people into a frenzy only to find out what they had been manipulated.
It’s not clear why this woman believed that 911 would just take their sweet time if she had only reported that her sister had a fever. A temperature of 107 is just one degree away from having a fatal fever. Being honest about what was wrong with her sister should have been enough to prompt a quick response from authorities.