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US to send 3,000 troops to West Africa to fight Ebola virus

September 16, 2014, 10:41 UTC+3 WASHINGTON
Washington plans to construct 17 new Ebola treatment units for a total of 1,700 beds
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WASHINGTON, September 16. /ITAR-TASS/. The United States plans to send 3,000 military personnel to the West African countries fighting against the Ebola outbreak, the President Barack Obama administration said Tuesday.

Obama, who has called the US response to the disease a “national-security priority,” is expected to detail the plan during his visit to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta later on day.

Washington plans to construct 17 new Ebola treatment units for a total of 1,700 beds. The effort will also see the US train 500 health workers per week.

The United States has called an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council on Thursday to discuss the Ebola crisis in West Africa.

The death toll from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has exceeded 2,400 among 4,784 reported cases, the World Health Organization (WHO) said last week.

Most victims died in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. WHO officials expect several thousand more cases in Liberia over the next three weeks.

The worst-ever Ebola outbreak began in December 2013 in Guinea. Cases have also been reported in Nigeria, where eight people died, and in Senegal, where one patient is being treated in hospital.

The Ebola virus disease (formerly known as Ebola haemorrhagic fever) was first reported in 1976 in Zaire (now Democratic Republic of Congo) and took its name from the river, in the northern Congo basin of central Africa, near which the first outbreak occurred.

It is a severe, often fatal illness, with a case fatality rate of up to 90% The infection is transmitted by direct contact with the blood, body fluids and tissues of infected animals or people. Severely ill patients require intensive supportive care.

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