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Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - As part of the state's preparedness efforts, the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics has agreed to work as an Ebola treatment facility if someone were to contract the virus, while two Des Moines-based hospitals will act as screening facilities, public health officials announced today.
The Iowa Department of Public Health said on Monday it is collaborating with the Iowa State Hygienic Lab, multiple emergency medical service providers and the three hospitals for testing, screening or treatment of an Ebola patient, if required.
Iowa does not have any cases of Ebola, and the Department of Public Health stressed that the likelihood of an Ebola case in Iowa is extremely low.
If needed, Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines and UnityPoint Health-Iowa Methodist Medical Center in Des Moines will work as screening facilities, while Cedar Rapids-based Area Ambulance, Medic EMS in Davenport and Iowa EMS Alliance in West Des Moines are designated as transporters.
Additionally, the State Hygienic Lab has been certified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to test for Ebola, if such a test is needed.
'I am proud of these partners for stepping up to the challenge to ensure that Iowa is prepared,” said Gerd Clabaugh, IDPH director. 'Iowans should be confident that while the chance of a confirmed or suspected Ebola case in Iowa is highly unlikely, the public health and state health care systems are prepared for that possibility.”
The 2014 Ebola epidemic has affected multiple countries in West Africa. Two imported cases, including one death, and two locally acquired cases in health care workers have been reported in the United States.
Ebola is spread through bodily fluids of a person who is sick or has died from Ebola.
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