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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

October 6, 2014 at 12:51 PM

American Ebola patients could be airlifted to Harborview

Dr. Jeff Duchin, Chief of Communicable Disease and Epidemiology for Public Health-Seattle & King County, and Dr. Scott Lindquist, State Communicable Disease Epidemiologist with  the Washington State Department of Health,  talk about preparing for possible Ebola cases being brought to Harborview. (Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Dr. Jeff Duchin, chief of Communicable Disease and Epidemiology for Public Health-Seattle & King County, and Dr. Scott Lindquist, state Communicable Disease Epidemiologist, talk about preparing for possible Ebola cases being brought to Harborview. (Photo by Steve Ringman / The Seattle Times)

Harborview Medical Center is one of five hospitals across the country that have agreed, if needed, to accept American Ebola patients airlifted from West Africa.

At a news conference Monday, Dr. Timothy Dellit, Harborview’s associate medical director, said patients accepted for treatment at  the hospital likely would be residents of the Northwest or have other strong ties to the region.

No such evacuations are expected in the immediate future.

Harborview’s agreement to be ready to take airlifted Ebola patients came through local and state health officials at the request of the U.S. State Department and the Centers for Disease Control.

The number of hospitals in other parts of the country willing to accept airlifted Ebola patients is expected to grow, a CDC official said.

Dr. Jeff Duchin, chief epidemiologist for Public Health – Seattle & King County,  said the agreement does not mean Harborview will be the designated local treatment location for all Ebola patients, and that he doesn’t envision Ebola patients being transferred to Harborview from other area hospitals.

All hospitals, he said, should be prepared “to evaluate and manage Ebola cases.”

Duchin said the disease, though deadly, is not highly contagious. It is spread by contact with the blood or bodily fluids of someone who has the disease.

Ashoka Mukpo, an American video journalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, is loaded into an ambulance to be taken to Nebraska Medical Center. (Photo by James R. Burnett / The World-Herald)

Ashoka Mukpo, an American video journalist who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, is loaded into an ambulance to be taken to Nebraska Medical Center. (Photo by James R. Burnett / The World-Herald)

More Ebola news today:

Comments | More in General news, Health | Topics: Ebola, Harborview

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