Ebola Laboratory Response at the Eternal Love Winning Africa Campus, Monrovia, Liberia, 2014–2015

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Abstract

West Africa experienced the first epidemic of Ebola virus infection, with by far the greatest number of cases in Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia. The unprecedented epidemic triggered an unparalleled response, including the deployment of multiple Ebola treatment units and mobile/field diagnostic laboratories. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention deployed a joint laboratory to Monrovia, Liberia, in August 2014 to support the newly founded Ebola treatment unit at the Eternal Love Winning Africa (ELWA) campus. The laboratory operated initially out of a tent structure but quickly moved into a fixed-wall building owing to severe weather conditions, the need for increased security, and the high sample volume. Until May 2015, when the laboratory closed, the site handled close to 6000 clinical specimens for Ebola virus diagnosis and supported the medical staff in case patient management. Laboratory operation and safety, as well as Ebola virus diagnostic assays, are described and discussed; in addition, lessons learned for future deployments are reviewed.

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