A Ohio woman may be facing charges after lying to 911 dispatchers about her sister having Ebola in order to receive faster treatment.
The Columbus Dispatch reports:
The woman called 911 at 8:42 p.m. and reached a Columbus police dispatcher. She said her sister had a high fever — 107 degrees — and she needed an ambulance. That was it.
The police dispatcher quickly transferred her to the Division of Fire, where the phone rang for less than a minute before a dispatcher picked up.
This time, the caller upped the ante. It wasn’t just a fever, she said.
“I’m scared. I think my sister has Ebola. Her fever is 107, and she’s really, really hot,” the woman said.
“Was the person over in Africa recently in the last 21 days?” the fire dispatcher asked.
“Yes, she was,” the woman said.
That, authorities say, was a lie. Police and paramedics responded to 865 S. Champion Ave. as if the woman really did have Ebola — they wore hazmat suits and roped off the house with crime-scene tape.
But a few hours later, Jose Rodriguez of Columbus Public Health confirmed that the woman did not have symptoms consistent with Ebola and had not traveled to western Africa.
The false call was a drain on first responders, Rodriguez said.
“We are trying to protect the community, and a hoax really wasted our resources,” he said.
The identities of the women have not been released, but it’s possible the caller could be facing charges for the hoax. Take a listen to the call below. Do you think she should be charged?