April 3, 2015 – Biocontainment


Anchor lead:  A new unit for deadly infectious disease containment is opening at Johns Hopkins, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Even as Ebola infection appears to be slowing and the number of infected people being transported to the US is just a handful, Johns Hopkins is about to open a new biocontainment unit.  Lisa Maragakis, director of infection control for the Johns Hopkins Hospital, says the unit may be useful for many more emerging diseases.

Maragakis: A unit like this is obviously important for a disease like Ebola but it will obviously be very useful for other emerging infectious diseases, some of which we haven’t even heard of.  This involves really preparing for diseases that can be transmitted by touching or also by the airborne route.  All of that has been taken into consideration in designing the unit.  So a disease for instance like coronavirus, such as we saw in SARS, or MERS-CoV, or a novel influenza virus, could be cared for here as well.   :32

Maragakis says the unit design may also prove useful for planning other biocontainment units in hospitals.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.