SPOKANE, Wash. — A new ward at a Spokane hospital is ready to handle patients with highly infectious diseases such as Ebola.

Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center is one of 10 hospitals in the country chosen by the federal government to host “special pathogens unit” for people with Ebola or other highly infectious diseases. It could take patients from Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska in the event of an outbreak.

The Spokesman-Review reports (http://bit.ly/2qktY4x ) that Congress allocated funding to hospitals following the 2014 Ebola outbreak, which killed thousands of people across West Africa. Some patients, mostly health care workers, were treated at U.S. hospitals.

Sacred Heart received $2.1 million over five years to build the unit, train staff and run ongoing drills.

The ward is able to handle up to 10 patients with infectious diseases.


Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com