Two people traveling from Liberia are being evaluated at Chicago hospitals after they became ill on separate flights landing at O’Hare International Airport Tuesday.
Officials from several area health agencies and hospitals in Chicago released a statement Tuesday saying there have been no confirmed cases of Ebola and there is no threat to the general public. Both travelers, a child and an adult, are undergoing medical evaluations for their symptoms, but are not currently being tested for Ebola.
The release from the Chicago Ebola Resource Network said a child passenger from Liberia became ill on a flight to O’Hare Airport, reportedly vomiting one time. When the flight landed, federal authorities tested the child and found no other Ebola symptoms aside from the vomiting and said the passenger had no known risk of exposure.
The child was transported to Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, one of four hospitals in Chicago designated to treat Ebola patients, for a medical evaluation. The CDC decided not to test the patient after the evaluation and the child was transported to University of Chicago Medical Center for ongoing observation in isolation.<
The child’s family, though not experiencing any symptoms, is also under quarantine until the evaluation is complete, officials said.
Later Tuesday, an adult passenger traveling along from Liberia reported nausea and diarrhea. The passenger also reported having been diagnosed with typhoid fever in August.
Ill. Family in Voluntary Quarantine Over Ebola Fear
After being tested at O’Hare Airport, the passenger was found to have had a normal temperature and reported no known risk of Ebola exposure. They were transported to the Rush University Medical Center where they are under a medical evaluation. Health officials determined the patient did not need to be tested for Ebola but will continue to be monitored.
“City and hospital officials are working closely with the CDC to continue monitoring,” the release said.
The Homeland Security Department announced Tuesday that anyone coming to the United States from one of three West African countries reporting an Ebola outbreak must enter the country through one of five airports screening passengers for the deadly disease—including O’Hare Airport.
Four Chicago hospitals have agreed to take on the responsibility of caring for Ebola patients if the deadly virus emerges in the city.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office and the city’s health department announced the four hospitals Monday, calling an Ebola diagnosis in the city “unlikely.”
Rush University Medical Center and the University of Chicago Medical Center would take adult and pediatric patients, Northwestern Memorial Hospital adult patients only and Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital pediatric patients.
The mayor’s office says infectious disease specialists from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are visiting the hospitals this week to determine their capabilities and their needs.