Emory University Hospital faced its share of doubters when it built its serious communicable disease unit more than a decade ago. At a time when the threat of infectious diseases in the U.S. seemed to have receded—replaced by worries over conditions like obesity and type-2 diabetes—the center appeared unnecessary. But last week, when Emory got word that two Americans were infected with Ebola and would need to be evacuated from West Africa, health experts were all too glad the unit existed.
“I have to admit, a lot of people saw this as Noah’s Ark,” says Dr. Bruce Ribner, the infectious disease specialist at Emory University Hospital leading the care of the American patients with Ebola virus. “They thought, ‘You are not going to have any activity there, you’re just wasting your time with all that.’”
Now, Dr. Ribner is fielding an average of 100 emails a day from hospitals here…
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