Ebola Information Line Provides Up-to-Date Findings

Jade Osowski, Health Editor

Far too often, misinformation is spread when an important topic goes viral. The Will County Health Department is aware of this, and developed a solution to protect information regarding the recent Ebola epidemic.

According to a press release issued by the Will County Health Department, an Ebola Information Line has been implemented for area residents interested in local Ebola news and developments.

“The information line has been constructed so that changes to the content can be made at a moment’s notice. The ability to quickly alter content means callers can learn about urgent Ebola news whenever it breaks,” the press release wrote.

When calling in, residents will be presented with two listening options. The first option will provide news concerning local Ebola developments and a list of other resources for residents to access. The second option provides random notes chronicling important Ebola developments worldwide.

Vic Reato, media services manager of the Will County Health Department and Lewis University alumnus ‘77, shared that the information line came to be when management was considering ways they could keep the community informed about local Ebola issues.

“The Illinois Department of Public Health operates a 24-hour live information line manned by the Illinois Poison Control Center, but we wanted to develop something that would be a resource for local Ebola information,” Reato said. “Should there be rumors about local cases, should there actually be a local case, or if there was any other info pertinent to Will County, we wanted to have a telephone capability that we could update regularly to help spread the particular message we wanted to communicate.”

Although still fairly new, the information line has kept busy, as it is receiving between 20 and 50 calls a day.

“Many of the calls are from Will County Health Department staff wanting to know specifics, but we also know we’re getting some calls from the community as well,” Reato said. “So far, we’re very happy with the way the information line has been received.”

Although encouraged by how well the new service has been received, the health department didn’t have any specific expectations in mind when the Ebola Information Line went live.

“We weren’t sure how it would be received, but one of our chief concerns was the availability of a community resource should there be special need to communicate a special Ebola message to the community,” Reato commented. “I think we have accomplished that goal.”

Those interested in reaching the Will County Health Department’s Ebola Information Line can do so by calling (815) 774-7360. For more information on the Will County Health Department, please visit www.willcountyhealth.org.

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