The 10 Ebola treatment centers in West Africa are based on a design of three wards, which help separate patients suspected of having the disease from those with a confirmed diagnosis. Because there are not nearly enough such treatment centers, Liberia and the World Health Organization plan to set up much scaled-down versions, called community care centers, which will provide only rudimentary care. The community care centers would separate suspected and confirmed cases.
Triage Patients with symptoms suggesting an Ebola infection are examined in a tent by medical workers wearing protective clothing.
Low-probability ward Patients who might not have Ebola wait here for hours or days until tests reveal whether they have the virus.
High-probability ward If the medical staff suspects that someone has Ebola, the person is cared for in this tent until test results are in.
Ebola ward Confirmed cases are treated here. Because no cure exists, the medical staff can provide only supportive care, which increases the chance of survival.
Direct entry Patients with clear signs of an Ebola infection are taken straight to the Ebola ward, without going through triage.
Cemetery and incinerator Bodies are buried nearby but off site. Medical waste is burned a short distance away from the treatment center.
Patient exit Recovered patients take an antiseptic shower, put on clean clothes and step through decontamination basins before leaving the clinic. No longer infec- - tious, they carry antibodies against the virus for as many as 10 years.
Dressing room Medical staff entering the clinic put on protective equipment: dressing gown, apron, respirator, surgical cap, goggles, boots and two pairs of gloves. Clinic employ- - ees work in twos, checking each other’s suits for tears or openings.
Undressing room Workers must undress very slowly and carefully to prevent infection, washing hands after removing each item of protective clothing. Some equipment can be reused after disinfection; other items are incinerated.
Visitors A double fence separates patients from their visitors.
Morgue In some areas, as many as 75 percent of Ebola patients die. Bodies are stored temporar - ily in a morgue until medical workers can bury them.
Patient shower and toilet
Foot decontamination basin
Disinfection with a 0.5% chlorine solution Barrier
SOURCE: Doctors Without Borders, CDC, World Health Organization.