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Atlanta EMS team responds to suspected monkeypox case

Grady EMS medical director, Dr. Lekshmi Kumar, said that the team is trained and expects more such calls


Photo/Grady Health

By Leila Merrill

ATLANTA — The Grady EMS Biosafety Transport Team recently responded to a call about a person suspected of having monkeypox, WSC-TV reported.

Grady EMS medical director, Dr. Lekshmi Kumar, who helps run the team, said the team had little information about the patient.

“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.

They took the patient to a special unit at Emory University Hospital, and the illness turned out not to be monkeypox.

The CDC’s monkeypox tracker shows dozens of cases currently in the U.S.

Each team member at Grady must complete an initial biosafety transport technician course plus 32 hours of specialty training each year. Grady EMS transported two patients with Ebola in 2014.

Kumar noted the level of PPE the team is wearing in photos and during training is probably not necessary for the treatment of the disease, but they have a heightened awareness. Kumar expects to receive suspected monkeypox cases in the coming weeks.


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