Should Ebola return to the United States, the federal government has designated nine hospitals across the country to be designated treatment centers, including the University Of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston.
UTMB has been a center for infectious disease research for decades, and was already chosen as an Ebola treatment center by the state of Texas. But the federal designation means UTMB will get more than $3.25 million over the next five years to train staff members and buy protective suits and equipment.
Each of the nine hospitals will become a go-to Ebola treatment center for a specific region.
UTMB will accept Ebola patients from Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana and New Mexico. All the hospitals will be required to accept patients within eight hours of being notified, must be able to treat at least two Ebola patients at the same time, and have the ability to handle Ebola-contaminated waste.
The hospitals will also be able to treat patients with other severe, highly infectious diseases.