With the news today that the second Dallas nurse, Amber Vinson, is being transferred to another hospital for treatment, it becomes important to learn about bio-safety levels and which hospitals are properly equipped to deal with Ebola.
The second Dallas nurse to contract Ebola was transferred to Atlanta yesterday and today Nina Pham, the first nurse to become infected will be transferred to the NIH facility in Maryland.
So, why are Emory University in Atlanta and the National Institute of Health getting these patients? Simple, there are only four facilities in the United States with a total bed capacity of less than 20 patients, possibly fewer than 13, with the highest bio-safety level rating.
The numbers are flexible since it should be possible to double up in some cases with temporary barriers but the numbers are alarmingly small – we simply aren’t equipped to treat or even isolate any significant number of highly infectious patients.
As Congressman Waxman of California pointed out today in the House Panel hearings the same congresspersons who are complaining that the CDC and NIH aren’t properly staffed and equipped to deal with the threat are responsible for the sequestration’s irrational across the board budget cuts.
In addition to the two medical facilities mentioned above, there are two more which are fully equipped to deal with Ebola patients.
The Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha is the third facility and is where the freelance journalist was sent after successfully treating a U.S. doctor.
The final facility is the St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, Montana.
All hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola are classed as Category A pathogens along with plague, anthrax, and other serious diseases.
Despite some claims that the CDC has a conflict of interest in developing treatments for Ebola, the CDC has no involvement in producing any medicines. In the U.S. the FDA must approve all drugs but the initial development moves are often made at the NIH which then transfers promising products to BARDA ( Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) which passes them along to private industry, which then applies to the FDA for approval.
For common sense information about Ebola, see my Kindle book, Ebola Protecting Your Family – What You Need to Know NOW!: The latest medical facts from WHO and CDC interpreted by a medical journalist, http://cdncache-a.akamaihd.net/pd.html?r=399553903.71729386