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Current Capabilities and Capacity of Ebola Treatment Centers in the United States

  • Jocelyn J. Herstein (a1), Paul D. Biddinger (a2) (a3), Colleen S. Kraft (a4), Lisa Saiman (a5) (a6), Shawn G. Gibbs (a7) (a8), Aurora B. Le (a1), Philip W. Smith (a7) (a9), Angela L. Hewlett (a7) (a9) and John J. Lowe (a1) (a7)...

To describe current Ebola treatment center (ETC) locations, their capacity to care for Ebola virus disease patients, and infection control infrastructure features.


A 19-question survey was distributed electronically in April 2015. Responses were collected via email by June 2015 and analyzed in an electronic spreadsheet.


The survey was sent to and completed by site representatives of each ETC.


The survey was sent to all 55 ETCs; 47 (85%) responded.


Of the 47 responding ETCs, there are 84 isolation beds available for adults and 91 for children; of these pediatric beds, 35 (38%) are in children’s hospitals. In total, the simultaneous capacity of the 47 reporting ETCs is 121 beds. On the basis of the current US census, there are 0.38 beds per million population. Most ETCs have negative pressure isolation rooms, anterooms, and a process for category A waste sterilization, although only 11 facilities (23%) have the capability to sterilize infectious waste on site.


Facilities developed ETCs on the basis of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance, but specific capabilities are not mandated at this present time. Owing to the complex and costly nature of Ebola virus disease treatment and variability in capabilities from facility to facility, in conjunction with the lack of regulations, nationwide capacity in specialized facilities is limited. Further assessments should determine whether ETCs can adapt to safely manage other highly infectious disease threats.

Infect. Control Hosp. Epidemiol. 2016;37(3):313–318

Corresponding author
Address correspondence to John J. Lowe, PhD, 985110 Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE 68198 (
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Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology
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  • EISSN: 1559-6834
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