EBOLA WASHINGTON DC
EBOLA VIRUS PATIENT ARRIVES
EBOLA MEDICAL EVACUATION PLANE
HAS JUST LANDED
TOMMY WELLS ON TWITTER SHARED THE EBOLA TREATMENT ISOLATION UNIT INSTALLED
AT DULLES AIRPORT
HERE IS THE PICTURE OF THE EBOLA ISOLATION UNIT
The Containerized Biocontainment System (CBCS) is loaded onto the main cargo area of a Kalitta Air 747-400. Phoenix Air has a partnership with the Michigan-based airline.
the State Department had worked with Phoenix Air, the company Thompson managed, to prepare an air-ambulance service plan, the last thing the U.S. government wanted was a military plane swooping in and creating unsettling optics. Instead, they would call Phoenix Air, a small, independent flight carrier with a couple of air ambulances.
Airplanes That Rescue Ebola Patients
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The ABCS consists of a frame of metal tubing contoured to fit inside an airplane’s fuselage, supporting a disposable plastic cocoon—a giant zippered sock made out of what looks like a double-thick shower-curtain liner.
Everything inside the sock is disposable, including a stretcher, a bucket toilet, medical supplies, and leads for health monitors that can be operated by the medical crew from outside. To reach the patient area, a member of the medical team must walk from the sterile area of the plane through an air-lock-style antechamber, where she dons protective gear in a specific order with the help of a checklist and an advisor on the outside.
A custom-built air pump creates a negative air pressure gradient from the main aircraft cabin, through the antechamber, and into the patient chamber. A virus floating in the air is pulled backward, into the sock’s figurative toes.
In most pressurized aircraft, the air you breathe is sucked in from the engines and introduced through vents all over the cabin. To maintain air pressure, some air leaves the cabin through a baffled outflow valve usually located near the cockpit.
This outflow valve is on the opposite end of the plane from the toe of the sock, and would therefore act in opposition, airflow-wise, to the air pump protecting the crew from disease. In the modified corporate jet that flies the ABCS, Phoenix Air sealed the outflow valve up front and installed a new one in an unused luggage compartment in the rear, running the plane’s airflow backward, through the gradient of the sock, and out CDC-designed HEPA filters to the sky.
“This is black ops, Ebola World, whatever you wanna call it,” Dent says, indicating a trio of warehouses, bare and tan, on the grounds of the Cartersville airport. Weeds poke out of an asphalt runway. There are no signs. Inside one of the warehouses sits a mock-up of the ABCS, right in the middle of the floor. This hangar is where the system would undergo a 22-hour post-use “decon,” short for decontamination, after use. Among other procedures, it would be bombarded with a 200-degree Fahrenheit, 35 percent hydrogen-peroxide solution, then collapsed, put in a special truck, and driven to a federal incinerator in Central Florida.
While the fight against the current Ebola outbreak in the Congo has been hampered by violence, international health organizations hope that experimental vaccines will prevent it from spreading as widely as the last epidemic. But they’re ready for the situation to deteriorate anyway. Governments are not fond of being unprepared for the same thing twice. In 2014, Paul Allen, of Microsoft fame, decided he wanted to put some of his fortune to use combating Ebola. He asked the Department of State what he could do to help, which is how he, together with Phoenix Air and a research company called MRI Global, came to build the Containerized Biocontainment System (CBCS).
If the ABCS is a rubber raincoat, the CBCS is a submarine, down to 400-pound airtight doors that separate the clean, gray, and biohazard sections. The size of a semi-truck trailer, it has its own power and medical oxygen, and can be loaded onto a Boeing B-747/400 and shipped out of Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport within 24 hours. The CBCS solves a major problem Phoenix Air faced during the 2014 epidemic, which was that they could only pick up one patient at a time, every three days, potentially dooming anyone left behind to wait for a later flight. The CBCS can transport four extremely sick, extremely contagious people, along with six medical staff, simultaneously.
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EBOLA OUTBREAK MAP .COM
One challenge in combating the EBOLA VIRUS is some people don’t show symptoms for as many as 21 days.
Ebola virus disease has a wide-ranging fatality rate of about 30-90 percent, depending on virus species.
The hemorrhagic fever can affect organs, damage blood vessels and the body’s ability to regulate itself.
Once a person is infected with an Ebola virus, it can then be spread from person to person through close contact with infected body fluids.
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