ATLANTA — A special team at Grady Hospital is ready for action as monkeypox spreads across the country.
We’ve told you before that doctors have already confirmed one case in metro Atlanta. Grady EMS biosafety transport team is ready for any dangerous disease that comes its way.
Grady BST is one of the oldest teams in the county and it is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The team has 15 technicians on a 24/7 service call to provide coverage. They were hand-picked based on their backgrounds and specialty training.
Each team member has to complete an initial biosafety transport technician course and 32 hours of specialty training each year.
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Channel 2′s Justin Wilfon got a first look at the team’s training.
Grady EMS gave Channel 2 a few photos from its training, showing the team preparing for any situation. And that was exactly what happened when the team recently received a call about a person suspected of having monkeypox.
Grady EMS medical director, Dr. Lekshmi Kumar, helps run the biosafety transport team. He said the team transported a patient suspected of suffering from a serious communicable disease to a special unit at Emory University Hospital.
Kumar said his team members didn’t know what to expect when they got the call.
“At the time we didn’t know what the patient had, we just knew his symptoms and his travel history. And our task was to transport him from point A to point B without spreading the infection to anybody,” said Kumar.
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He said that as more diseases are introduced to the city, safety is extremely important.
“As you have different communicable diseases and illnesses that come into Atlanta, safely transporting people is extremely important.”
It turned out that the patient did not have the disease.
The doctor also points out that the level of PPE that the team is seen wearing in these photos may not be necessary for the treatment of monkeypox patients.
With one case of monkeypox already confirmed in metro Atlanta, Kumar believes the team may get more monkeypox calls in the coming weeks and months.
Kumar said the risk of cases in the city is high, so the team has to be prepared.
“The risk of having cases in Atlanta is definitely high and we just have to have that heightened awareness.”
In 2014, the team transported a patient suffering from Ebola.
Now, the team’s ready for whatever comes next.
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