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CDC designates 4 Minnesota hospitals as Ebola treatment centers

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention designated 35 hospitals nationwide as treatment centers for Ebola should new cases arise in the United States. Four of those hospitals are in Minnesota.

For the last few weeks, health officials have been assessing hospitals that could serve as treatment centers for new Ebola cases, the CDC said in news release Tuesday. Agency officials evaluated more than 50 hospitals in 15 states, naming 35 of them – most of which are clustered in metropolitan areas – as designated Ebola treatment hospitals based on their ability to handle an Ebola patient.

The four hospitals in Minnesota – which were previously named Ebola hospitals by Minnesota Hospital Association and the state Department of Health – are:

  • Allina Health’s Unity Hospital in Fridley.
  • Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota in St. Paul.
  • Mayo Clinic Hospital – St. Marys Campus in Rochester.
  • University of Minnesota Medical Center – West Bank Campus in Minneapolis.

More hospitals are expected to be named in the coming weeks.

Currently there are no cases of Ebola in the U.S., but as long as there is still an outbreak in West Africa, the CDC will continue to prepare for the possibility of more cases being diagnosed in the U.S., CDC director Tom Frieden said in news release.

“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," Frieden said in the release.

Monitoring in Minnesota

Minnesota's Department of Health has been monitoring people who come into the state from Ebola-stricken countries for the past five weeks – and officials recently told MPR News that process is going pretty smoothly. Officials said poor information gathering and language barriers made the initial push a bit rough. But since then, standards have been tightened, MPR said.

MPR reports 120 people have been screened and monitored since the program began. None have developed Ebola symptoms.

This outbreak, which is the deadliest on record, was first detected in Africa in March and the number of cases has now passed 15,000, according to a Nov. 26 news release from the World Health Organization. A total of 15,935 cases have been reported, with 5,689 deaths. Four cases have been diagnosed in the United States, with one death, WHO says.

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