How Johns Hopkins Hospital preps for infectious disease threats, bioterrorism

Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Hospital practices infectious disease training exercises every few months to ensure staff members are prepared to treat patients with highly contagious diseases, according to The Baltimore Sun.

The Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit is one of 10 regional centers in the U.S. designed to respond to infectious disease outbreaks and bioterrorism attacks. The program was established in 2015 amid the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. The unit stationed at Johns Hopkins covers a large portion of the mid-Atlantic region, including Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

"We don't know what the next outbreak will bring, but there is certainly a need for us to be prepared for it," Brian Garibaldi, MD, medical director of the John Hopkins Biocontainment Unit, told The Baltimore Sun.

The unit conducted an Ebola protocol training Aug. 29 using a medical actor transported to the hospital in a disease containment pod. The medical staff treated the fake patient while wearing hazmat suits.

The Johns Hopkins Biocontainment Unit is funded until 2020 through a $4.1 million grant from HHS' Office of Preparedness and Response.

More articles on clinical leadership and infection control: 

Conflict zones complicate Ebola containment in Congo, says WHO director

CDC hosts infectious disease experts to discuss HAIs, Ebola

Viewpoint: Vaccine guidelines 'unfairly deprive' pregnant women of Ebola protection

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