TIME Infectious Disease

See How Berlin is Prepping For Ebola Patients

A Berlin hospital with a specialized isolation unit drills its procedures for taking in an Ebola patient.

As the Ebola outbreak continues to ravage West Africa with over 2,000 cases, countries across the globe are making sure they are prepared for the possibility that a patient with Ebola could the land within their borders.

One such hospital is the Charite hospital in Berlin, which, like Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, has an isolation unit specifically for serious communicable diseases. Their unit has 24 beds, and the infectious disease team practices their protocol for taking in an infectious patient twice a month. Recently, they practiced their procedure for taking in an Ebola patient.

Dr. Florian Steiner, an infectious disease physician at Charite hospital told TIME that their drills are conservative, and that given the fact that Ebola does not transmit in the air and is relatively hard to contract, they would likely scale down, though their drills practice full precautions. “I think we are ready,” Steiner says. “We are preparing, and working hard to be ready.”

Though Dr. Steiner admits that the likelihood is low of the unit receiving an infected patient, like most hospitals around the world, they want to be ready—no matter what.

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