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Health Department: No known cases of Ebola in Oklahoma

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OKLAHOMA CITY - On Friday, health officials in Oklahoma stressed that there are no known cases of Ebola in the Sooner State.

On Thursday night, a patient was admitted to Deaconess Hospital with a few symptoms that may be associated with the Ebola virus.

However, she was not put in isolation and Ebola was quickly ruled out as a cause for her symptoms.

Hospital officials say after a careful and thorough review of the patient's symptoms, the Oklahoma State Health Department and the CDC determined that she had not been exposed to the virus.

"The travel exposure was not consistent with the countries with Ebola," said Dr. Kristy Bradley, the state epidemiologist.

Deaconess Hospital says it was erring on the side of public safety and followed all appropriate protocol that has been set by the CDC.

On Friday afternoon, officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health said Oklahomans do not need to panic.

They say it is very unlikely that Ebola will ever reach the Sooner State.

However, if it does, they say they are ready with specific protocols in place to identify any possible Ebola cases.

Deaconess Hospital officials say they are pleased that the staff and processes worked appropriately in this health situation.

Gov. Mary Fallin released the following statement on the situation:

“My thanks go out to the staff at Deaconess for their professionalism and their preparation. Oklahoma health care professionals know that Ebola is a risk. They are trained to respond to Ebola threats, to treat Ebola patients and to isolate and contain any infectious diseases. Today that training paid off. Hospital officials coordinated with the Oklahoma State Department of Health and the Center for Disease Control to ensure all proper protocols and safety precautions were followed. Should this have been Ebola, the disease would have been properly isolated and treated."

“The state of Oklahoma has put in place a robust set of procedures in the unlikely event we do have an Oklahoman get sick with the Ebola virus. Health officials have been working non-stop with Oklahoma health care providers and entities to ensure we are ready for any potential Ebola-linked threat,” she added.

While this case was a false alarm, emergency responders are on heightened alert and prepared for more calls related to Ebola.

"We are operating under an assumption that if certain criteria are met with a patient, there is a possibility they could have Ebola," said Batt. Chief Brian Stanaland, with the Oklahoma City Fire Department. "You're going to wear, at a minimum, gloves, eye protection, and then for something like Ebola and other situations, you're going to add a gown that will protect you from splash and a face piece."

Health officials say they are prepared for more calls because of the anxiety surrounding Ebola and the upcoming flu season.

What you need to know about the Ebola virus.