CDC Designates MetroHealth As Ohio's First Ebola Treatment Center

State and federal officials visited MetroHealth in October last year - just as Northeast Ohio began to cope with the news that confirmed Ebola patient Amber Vinson had visited the region.

The officials assessed MetroHealth. They looked at its staff, equipment, facilities, waste management, laboratory and training procedures.

MetroHealth's Dr. Jennifer Hanrahan says says the hospital volunteered for the role.

"There was a need for a treatment center to be designated.. so that's the reason we came forward and agreed to do this," Hanrahan says.

MetroHealth joins the Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals to form a regional coalition for an Ebola response. The Clinic and UH are able to assess patients but, if someone is diagnosed with Ebola, they will be sent to MetroHealth. Hanrahan says the staff has been trained and is ready to take a patient immediately, if necessary.

No new cases of Ebola have been diagnosed in the U.S. since last year. The disease is still ravaging West African countries, especially Guinea in recent weeks.

Hanrahan says the Ebola preparation also means the hospital's staff is fully trained and ready for whatever deadly infectious disease may arrive.

"There's constantly new infections coming up, it's not just Ebola. And being prepared for this helps to prepare us for other infections," she says. "That's the bottom line, being prepared is a good thing."

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