This morning a Liberian patient contracted with the Ebola virus was admitted to St. Georg Hospital in Leipzig, Germany. The Patient is a member of the UN staff in Liberia. “The man is being treated following strict security precautions inside the secure isolation ward of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, Tropical Diseases and Nephrology” explains St. Georg hospital’s CEO, Dr. Iris Minde. “There is no risk of infection for other patients, relatives, visitors or the public. We follow strictest hygienic protocols according to latest standards.“
The secure isolation ward is specially equipped with negative pressure rooms, which are hermetically sealed and can only be accessed through a number of airlocks. In addition, the doors are locked with a magnetic mechanism that prohibits the opening of two doors at the same time. All air and fluids are being filtered meticulously before reaching outside and all equipment is being completely decontaminated after use. “Our doctors and medical staff are perfectly prepared. They practice working inside the airlock system of the secure isolation ward on a regular basis and continuously undergo hygienic trainings to ensure best possible treatment of patients with highly contagious diseases“, said Dr. Thomas Grünewald, senior physician at the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, Tropical Diseases and Nephrology at St. Georg hospital. “The Ebola patient will be tended to 24/7 by a medical doctor and a nurse in protection suits.“
In terms of medical care for the patient, the specialists for infectious diseases mainly focus on treatment of complications, stabilizing of vital functions and supportive therapy. “Currently, there is no approved medication available for treating the virus. However, the clinic has experimental drugs at their disposal, i.e. still unapproved drugs that show effectiveness against the virus in first tests,“ says Prof. Dr. Bernhard Ruf, Head of the Clinic for Infectious Diseases, Tropical Diseases and Nephrology. “Though not yet approved, the employment of these drugs is medically and ethically justified in this special situation.“ The patient’s admission was handled in close corporation with regional authorities, the Federal Foreign Office’s Crisis Response Center and further federal agencies.