Tags: Ebola Outbreak | Military medical team | Ebola | United States | nurses

Special Military Team to Give Medical Support for Ebola in US

Special Military Team to Give Medical Support for Ebola in US
(US Dept. of Defense)

By    |   Monday, 20 October 2014 01:30 PM

The Pentagon has ordered a 30-person military medical team to be on standby to support civilian health professionals in the event that more cases of Ebola emerge in the United States.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel made the announcement Sunday following a request by the Department of Health and Human Services, which oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Fox News reported.

Hagel's spokesman, Rear Adm. John Kirby, said the move was "an added, prudent measure to ensure our nation is ready to respond quickly, effectively, and safely in the event of additional Ebola cases in the United States."

The team will consist of 20 critical care nurses, five doctors with infectious disease training, and five trainers in infectious disease protocols, and would be available for immediate short-term help.

The personnel will be drawn from different branches of the military, and will be trained by staff from the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas, ABC News reported.

The training will cover infection control and personal protective equipment and is expected to start as early as this week and take up to seven days.

After their training, the service personnel will be sent back to their units on a "prepare to deploy" basis for 30 days during which time they could be dispatched anywhere in the United States should they be needed, ABC News reported.

"They will not be sent to West Africa or elsewhere overseas and will be called upon domestically only if deemed prudent by our public health professionals," Kirby said.

More than 500 troops have already been sent to West Africa to help contain the spread of the deadly virus. The Pentagon has authorized the deployment of up to 4,000 troops in total. They are not expected to treat Ebola patients but instead will focus on distributing sanitation kits to affected areas, delivering body bags to bury victims, and assist in the building of treatment facilities.

"Secretary Hagel is committed to ensuring [the Defense Department] is prepared to provide appropriate capabilities, as required, to support our government's response to the deadly disease," Kirby said, according to Fox News.

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The Pentagon has ordered a 30-person military medical team to be on standby to support civilian health professionals in the event that more cases of Ebola emerge in the United States.
Military medical team, Ebola, United States, nurses
378
2014-30-20
Monday, 20 October 2014 01:30 PM
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