In trying to set up the network, federal officials, working with state health departments and local hospitals, are taking a three-step approach. The first priority is to find hospitals near five international airports — John F. Kennedy in New York; Newark Liberty; Washington Dulles; O’Hare in Chicago and Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta — that travelers from Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Mali are required to use when arriving in the United States.

Among the hospitals designated in that category are Johns Hopkins, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Bellevue in Manhattan.

The next priority would be to designate hospitals in communities that are home to large numbers of West African immigrants. The last group would be hospitals in states that do not have other Ebola-capable facilities.

Ten people have been treated for Ebola in the United States, and federal officials say the number of future cases is likely to be extremely small — in large part because airport screening and follow-up monitoring allows health authorities to spot possible cases and refer them to hospitals for treatment.