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Pentagon Plans Ebola Domestic-Response Team of Medical Experts to Aid Doctors

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The Pentagon announced Sunday that it will create a 30-person team of medical experts that could quickly leap into a region if new Ebola cases emerge in the United States, providing support for civilian doctors who lack proficiency in fighting the deadly virus.

“Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on the Sunday talk shows, noting that there are just four medical facilities — in Maryland, Nebraska, Montana and Georgia — that are equipped to treat Ebola patients.”

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered the Pentagon’s Northern Command, which has a prime focus on protecting homeland security, to send this new team to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for high-level preparations to respond to any additional Ebola cases beyond the three confirmed in the country.

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The announcement came as federal health officials tried to calm the nerves of Americans rattled by Ebola’s arrival on U.S. soil. In Texas, dozens of health workers and others who came in contact with the lone man to die in the United States from Ebola are in the final stage of an emotional three-week isolation from the public, hoping that by early this week they can resume their lives if they show no hint of the virus.

“We need to have more than just the four in which you have people who are pre-trained so that you don’t come in and that’s the first time that you start thinking about it.”

— Anthony Fauci on NBC’s Meet the Press

“To be on the safe side, we stay home. . . . In my community, people used to come in and out of my house. Because of all the news [about Ebola], no one comes around,” Aaron Yah said in a telephone interview from his two-bedroom Dallas apartment, where he and his wife, Youngor Jallah, and their four children have cloistered themselves, skipping work and school until health officials assure them they are safe.

Jallah’s mother was engaged to Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian man who died Oct. 8 in a Dallas hospital. “People don’t have education about it, and if they knew we didn’t touch anything [in her apartment], maybe they be different,” he said.

U.S. medical officials also called for more expertise and training to fight a virus that the overwhelming majority of local doctors and hospitals are not prepared to handle. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, appeared on the Sunday talk shows, noting that there are just four medical facilities — in Maryland, Nebraska, Montana and Georgia — that are equipped to treat Ebola patients.

“We need to have more than just the four in which you have people who are pre-trained so that you don’t come in and that’s the first time that you start thinking about it,” Fauci said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Fauci also said that previous protocols for health-care workers handling potential Ebola patients were based on standards given by the World Health Organization and left some areas of skin exposed and potentially put medical workers at risk, in part because…(read more)

The Washington Post

Wesley Lowery and Missy Ryan contributed to this report.

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One Comment on “Pentagon Plans Ebola Domestic-Response Team of Medical Experts to Aid Doctors”

  1. […] The Butcher The Pentagon announced Sunday that it will create a 30-person team of medical experts that could […]


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