Omaha prepares largest biocontainment unit in US

In this undated photo released by the Center for Disease Control, a Aeromedical Biological Containment System which looks like a sealed isolation tent for Ebola air transportation is shown. On Thursday afternoon July 31, 2014, officials at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital said they expected one of the Americans to be transferred there "within the next several days." The hospital declined to identify which aid worker, citing privacy laws. (AP Photo/Center for Disease Control)
In this undated photo released by the Center for Disease Control, a Aeromedical Biological Containment System which looks like a sealed isolation tent for Ebola air transportation is shown. On Thursday afternoon July 31, 2014, officials at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital said they expected one of the Americans to be transferred there "within the next several days." The hospital declined to identify which aid worker, citing privacy laws. (AP Photo/Center for Disease Control)

OMAHA, Nebraska (AP) — Federal officials are assessing the Nebraska Medical Center Biocontainment Unit’s ability to treat people infected with the Ebola virus that is sweeping West Africa.

The Omaha World-Herald reports that officials with the U.S. State Department inspected the Omaha unit on Friday.

The inspection came as officials prepared to fly two Americans infected with the deadly virus into the U.S. for treatment — the first time anyone infected with Ebola has been brought into the country.

Dr. Philip Smith, medical director of the unit, says there are no immediate plans to transfer Ebola patients to the Omaha hospital.

But the Omaha medical center’s 10-bed biocontainment unit is the largest quarantine and treatment facility in the country and could be used if other cases turn up in the U.S.

 

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