US Military In Africa To Help Battle Ebola Outbreak
Monday, August 4, 2014
U.S. military health workers are on the ground in West Africa, helping that part of the world deal with one of the most catastrophic outbreaks of Ebola in the continent's history.
And now Pentagon officials are considering sending additional Defense Department personnel to help fight the Ebola outbreak, as the Military Times reports:
Filoviruses like Ebola have been of interest to the Pentagon since the late 1970s, mainly because Ebola and its fellow viruses have high mortality rates — in the current outbreak, roughly 60 percent to 72 percent of those who have contracted the disease have died — and its stable nature in aerosol make it attractive as a potential biological weapon.
Army Col. (Dr.) James Cummings, director of the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System at the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center, told DoD News military personnel are providing logistical help to African countries hit by Ebola, along with "guides for clinical management" of the deadly disease:
“DoD personnel bring a level of excellence second to none, working in response to host nations and WHO in the most-affected countries of Sierra Leone and Liberia."
For more than three decades, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases has been working to create a vaccine or develop a cure for the Ebola virus.
Dr. Kent Brantly, an American doctor who contracted Ebola while working in Liberia, is currently being treated at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, after arriving at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Georgia on Saturday, according to Bloomberg News.
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