The 2014-2016 outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa marked the 25th such occurrence but was noteworthy in its massive scope, causing more human morbidity and mortality than the previous 24 recorded outbreaks combined. Moreover, the 2014-2016 outbreak was the first in which patients, albeit few in number, were afforded sophisticated intensive care in the United States and in Europe. This ‘high-level containment care’ (HLCC) was provided in specially designed, purpose-built biocontainment units (BCUs). Since the 2014-2016 outbreak and as of this writing, multiple EVD outbreaks have occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well as a single outbreak in Guinea, emphasizing the need for continued preparedness. In this chapter we explore the history and evolution of biocontainment, discuss its unique engineering and infection control modalities, and offer recommendations for the clinical and operational management of Ebola and other viral hemorrhagic fevers (VHFs).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInfection Prevention
Subtitle of host publicationNew Perspectives and Controversies: Second Edition
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783030984274
ISBN (Print)9783030984267
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Biocontainment
  • Ebola
  • Hospital preparedness
  • Outbreak
  • VHF
  • Viral hemorrhagic fever

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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