Health officials have stated that the U.S. is able to treat the Ebola outbreak but is limited by a variety of variables, such as staffing, financial and resource difficulties.
Because of these difficulties, it would be challenging for U.S. health systems and hospitals to sustain specific centers dedicated to treating Ebola and other highly infectious diseases.
"In the past year, the United States saw an intense effort across the country to rapidly expand the capacity for high-level isolation patient care," Dr. John Lowe, a lead author of the study, said. "Our study shows an unprecedented increase in the number of high-level isolation beds across the country and found a variety of approaches to achieving this capability."
Ebola in the U.S. in 2014 resulted in two illnesses and one death. In light of this, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) dedicated 55 specific sites to treating Ebola. Among these, nine were regional centers located within metropolitan areas, which could house 120 patients.
"We have strengthened our nation's ability to properly contain a highly unlikely outbreak of Ebola,” Lowe said. “However, the ability to treat outbreaks of other infectious viruses which are airborne, such as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome would be challenging.”