The Defense Department said Sunday that it is preparing a quick-response medical team to help health-care professionals should the Ebola virus spread in the United States.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the training of the 30-member team and said the effort was in response to a Department of Health and Human Services request.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said the move is “an added, prudent measure to ensure our nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases.”
The military is already assisting in efforts to stop the spread of Ebola in West Africa, where roughly 4,300 people have died so far this year from the virus.
Last week, six U.S. military planes delivered more supplies and 100 Marines to West Africa. The Marines’ arrival means roughly 300 U.S. service members are now in the region, said Maj. Gen. Darryl A. Williams, the commander leading the U.S. response.
The U.S. military is working to build medical centers in hard-hit Liberia and may eventually send as many as 4,000 soldiers to West Africa.
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