How VCU Medical Center is now equipped to treat unique pathogen patients

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RICHMOND, Va. -- VCU Medical Center is working to become a regional treatment facility for pathogens, such as the Ebola virus, SARS or MERS.

Gov. Terry McAuliffe was one of the first to see the newly created self-contained unit on Wednesday afternoon.

"Once again shows the extraordinary leadership of Virginia.  I want to commend VCU for putting this up," McAuliffe said after touring the facility.

Located in VCU's former burn ICU, the self-contained unit can be fully staffed and functioning with just four hours notice.

The unit, which can treat two patients at the same time, will be staffed by volunteers.

For VCU and the governor, the Unique Pathogen Unit is leading the way for the region and the country.

"We don't know what the next outbreak of some type of pathogen, we don't know standing here today," McAuliffe. "But what I'm impressed with is that no matter what it is, we can deal with any situation here in Virginia."

If the unit becomes a regional treatment facility, VCU Medical Center would be one of ten facilities in the country to offer the level of treatment and care.

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