NEW YORK (Reuters) – A young woman complaining of abdominal pain and nausea who had traveled to Africa arrived at a Long Island hospital fearful that she had contracted Ebola. She did not have the virus, but the pregnancy test was positive.

“It tells you how ready for panic we can get ourselves,” said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an infectious diseases specialist at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, New York. “There’s a lot of anxiety and the answer to anxiety is information and training.”

With the annual flu season looming, hospitals and doctors are preparing themselves for emergency rooms that may become flooded with patients who fear Ebola but instead have influenza, which can cause similar symptoms in the early stages such as fever and body aches.

But fear often trumps common sense, even though people should be far more worried about the flu given the toll it is known to take every year, doctors said.