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New York City continues to prepare for Ebola threat

Ebola New York Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks on Ebola preparedness earlier this month. Photo credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images

New York City continues to prepare for the possibility of Ebola. There have been numerous scares, but no confirmed cases.


Representatives from about 150 unions met with city officials Monday to discuss how public workers might respond if an Ebola case is confirmed in New York.


The idea of the training was to give workers who deal with the public practical knowledge on the virus, and debunk rumors, such as the common misconception Ebola can be transmitted by sneezing.

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The Department of Hygiene and Mental Health said Monday the have received 155 calls from health care providers on patients with potential Ebola cases. Three of those cases are still pending. Of the 155 patients, 136 had not been to an Ebola affected area or exposed to someone who had. None of the 19 patients who met the criteria had any high or low risk exposure factors: 12 had a different diagnosis, including malaria, a pregnancy/viral illness and upper respiratory infections. Seven other patients had “no clear diagnosis,” but their symptoms improved, the health department said.


There has still been just one test for Ebola in New York, which came back negative.

On Monday afternoon, Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at a closed door infectious disease panel, and said communication is key when talking about the potential of Ebola coming to New York City, as well as not "resting on laurels when it comes to our approach."

"I think the attitude has been we have to keep learning, we have to keep consulting with people all over the country, all over the world. Keep trying to figure out the best way to prepare our people," de Blasio said.

Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams said Wednesday that he plans to host a town hall meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at Brooklyn Borough Hall to address the community’s concerns of Ebola and Enterovirus D68. Experts from the health department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other organizations are expected to attend.

 
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