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US military spends nearly $400 million to fight Ebola

The US defence department has spent $ 384.9 million, as of January 5, in response to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) that broke out in Africa last year, according to an official statement.

Of the total amount, the US military’s logistical, medical staff training and medical facility engineering efforts accounted for $ 312.3 million; cooperative threat reduction measures, including biosurveillance and biosecurity, took up $ 47 million, while vaccine research and development cost $ 25.6 million, according to a Xinhua report.

The US army’s Ebola control effort also involved 2,367 personnel, defence department spokesman, Steve Warren, said in the statement.

Most of those personnel, or 2,174 of them, are based in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia. The remaining 193 personnel are Marine Corps members and port operations personnel working in Dakar, Senegal.

US military personnel were not involved in treating Ebola patients, Warren said, adding that their role was to provide logistical support and training for health care workers, to test medical samples and to construct Ebola treatment units.

Since training began October 27 last year, the 40-person army and air force team has trained 1,539 health care workers.

The contributions of the US defence department in Liberia included a 25-bed hospital in Monrovia and 10 Ebola treatment units located throughout the country.

Construction of all but two of the Ebola treatment units was now complete, Warren said.

In addition to the hospital, a mobile laboratory began operating in Liberia’s Greenville, December 25, bringing the total number of mobile laboratories in Liberia to six, he added.

The Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), previously known as the Ebola hemorrhagic fever, is a severe illness in humans and is often fatal. The virus is passed on to people from wild animals and can be transmitted from humans to humans.

The number of people killed by Ebola has reached 8,153, the World Health Organization (WHO) has said in a statement.

The report released this week also noted that a total of 20,656 cases of EVD have been reported.

Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea were the countries hit most by Ebola, while separate cases have also been registered in Mali, Nigeria, Senegal, Spain, Britain and the US.

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