Only 7 spots left for Ebola patients in the U.S.

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Should the United States experience rapid transmission of the Ebola virus, there may be a major issue with outbreak safety: As of now, less than one-dozen biocontained hospital beds exist in the U.S., according to report from ABC News.

Only four hospitals in the U.S. have biocontainment facilities — facilities for patient care designed to isolate patients and halt the spread of dangerous infectious diseases. These hospitals include Bethesda, Md.-based NIH Clinical Center (two beds), Atlanta-based Emory Hospital (three beds), Omaha-based Nebraska Medical Center (10 beds, but staff capacity to operate three beds) and Missoula, Mont.-based St. Patrick Hospital (three beds). With the exception of St. Patrick Hospital, the other three hospitals are all caring for Ebola patients at this time.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has stated people who contract Ebola after the 11 biocontainment beds are filled would be treated where they are, though CDC officials would be sent to help care for them and stop the spread of the virus, according to the report.

More articles on capacity management:

UCLA study shows hope for ED crowding

Ebola drills help hospitals hone protocols

13 statistics on California EDs

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