Emory University is located in Atlanta, Georgia. That city is also home to the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC conducts research in very deadly diseases, which requires Level 4 biosafety. Such a level of containment is very safe, however accidents sometimes happen to reseachers. For example:
Because the CDC needed to have a back up facility to provide medical care in the event of an accident, Emory University built a small unit to provide level four care.
In a release, Emory said they have a specially-built isolation unit set up in collaboration with the CDC to treat patients who are exposed to certain serious infectious diseases. The facility, they said, is physically separate from other patient areas of the hospital and is equipped to provide an extremely high level of clinical isolation.
The unit is on the ground floor of Emory University Hospital in the General Clinical Research Center. Emory’s facility of only one of four of its type in the nation.
The hospital’s 3-bed isolation unit features the highest standards in negative pressure air handling safeguards, Emory epidemiologist Bruce Ribner said. The unit’s air is high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtered before being exhausted outsdie the hospital, so there is no recirculation, and no one outside the facility is placed at risk.
“When this unit was being built, we hoped we’d never have to use the space to treat a serious communicable disease,” said Ribner, also associate professor of medicine. “However, we realize that with the numerous research laboratories and epidemiology field personnel the CDC has in Atlanta, we’ll probably use this unit several times a year.”