Local and national Ebola hotlines open up - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Local and national Ebola hotlines open up

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - After a second health care worker at a Texas Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas tested positive for Ebola, it seems to be the only thing people are talking about.

With all the information that's out there about the disease, people are curious and have a lot of questions.

Now, Illinois residents have access to answers 24/7.

Concerns over the deadly disease have led to business, government and school closings throughout Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, where the second nurse lives.

The Center for Disease Control stated time and time again that people shouldn't worry about being at risk for contracting Ebola, but there's still a lot of curiosity out there, and the state is responding.

The Illinois Department of Public Health has activated a hotline to answer the public's questions about Ebola.

It will be managed by staff from the Illinois Poison Center who will be able to answer questions about the virus and the state's response.

The hotline will be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Operators will answer questions about how Ebola is spread, who's at risk, when someone should go to a doctor and other topics.

Now that's not the only place folks can call for information.

What 911 is for emergencies, 211 is for the United Way in Illinois.

2-1-1 is a free, confidential service that connects individuals and families to community resources currently now fields questions about Ebola.

The CDC is working with the 2-1-1 system to make sure if anyone were to have any concerns about Ebola; folks in Illinois now have somewhere to turn for answers.

"The multitude of calls that come in to nonprofit agencies looking for help here in Southern Illinois, 211 is going to be a huge asset to the residents, to the communities to nonprofit faith based organizations and also government officials."

The call center, which is located in Bloomington, is staffed by trained operators who will provide the most up to date information.

From August to September, the number of calls has doubled with calls coming from the southern Illinois Counties.

The Illinois Ebola Hotline number is 800-889-3931.

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