The Ebola outbreak of 2014-2016 highlighted the need for the development of a more robust healthcare infrastructure in the United States to provide isolation care for patients infected with a highly hazardous contagious disease. Routine exercises and skills practice are required to effectively and safely prepare care teams to confidently treat this special population of patients. The Nebraska Biocontainment Unit (NBU) at Nebraska Medicine in Omaha has been conducting exercises since 2005 when the unit was opened. Previous activities and exercises conducted by the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit have focused on transporting and caring for up to 3 patients with Ebola virus disease or other special pathogens. Changes in regional and national mandates, as well as the increased potential for receiving multiple patients at once, at a single location, have resulted in a greater demand to exercise protocols for the treatment of multiple patients. This article discusses in detail the planning, execution, and outcomes of a full-scale exercise involving 10 simulated patients with a highly infectious pathogen transmitted by the airborne route.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)432-439
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Security
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1 2017


  • Hospital preparedness/response
  • Infectious diseases
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Public health preparedness/ response
  • Viral hemorrhagic fevers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Emergency Medicine
  • Safety Research
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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