Paul G. Allen Ebola Program Unveils Biocontainment Units

The Paul G. Allen Ebola Program has announced the development of a "first-of-its-kind" biocontainment unit designed to improve U.S. medical-evacuation capability and better prepare the country for global health threats.

Developed through a $5 million public-private partnership between Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen and the U.S. Department of State and designed by MRIGlobal, each unit is a state-of-the-art containerized biocontainment system (CBCS) that can safely contain highly-contagious pathogens and be rolled on and off a transport plane, allowing for the secure transport of healthcare workers to and from so-called hot zones. The units will be owned and operated by the State Department and housed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia.

"The world's primary medical evacuation system for bringing patients infected with Ebola out of West Africa to the United States or Europe for medical treatment not only saved the lives of many of those evacuated, it also provided reassurance to countless other Ebola responders that they could be evacuated in case of need, and thus increased the flow of essential personnel to the region," said Patrick Kennedy, U.S. under secretary for management in the State Department. "We are proud to have participated in such a unique partnership. These units will be crucial in specialized air transport and medical precautions required for Ebola and other virus infections."