More hospitals in the U.S. are being trained and equipped to combat the Ebola virus, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Tuesday.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has identified 35 hospitals that are able to treat Ebola cases. They expect more to be designated as treatment centers in the next few weeks.
Health officials at the state level designate treatment centers, the decision being made in collaboration with the state health departments and hospital administration.
According to the DHHS, 80 percent of return travelers from affected countries live within 200 miles of one of these treatment centers.
CDC Director Dr. Tom Frieden emphasizes the importance of having appropriate treatment centers available.
“As long as Ebola is spreading in West Africa, we must prepare for the possibility of additional cases in the United States,” Frieden said. “We are implementing and constantly strengthening multiple levels of protection, including increasing the number of hospitals that have the training and capabilities to manage the complex care of an Ebola patient. These hospitals have worked hard to rigorously assess their capabilities and train their staff.”
The 35 hospitals that are designated as treatment represent the major regions of the country. Institutions in Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, Galveston, Omaha, New York and Washington, D.C., are among the cities represented on the list.
These hospitals supplement three containment institutions at Emory University Hospital, Nebraska Medical Center and the National Institutes of Health.