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More than 80 U.S. military personnel helping to fight the Ebola outbreak in Liberia are set to return home Thursday afternoon after completing their assignments, defense officials said. While none of them are currently showing signs of the deadly virus, they will all be transported to a special facility at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in southeastern Virginia for 21 days of monitoring. The military announced last month that all troops and personnel returning from West Africa will be kept in special quarantine as a precaution against spreading the disease.
The returning military personnel in Virginia — from all four branches of service — will be housed in buildings located in a secluded area of the base, and will have the appropriate amenities, officials said. They will still be allowed to communicate with their families electronically. Their return comes as the Pentagon said Wednesday that it doesn’t plan to send the full 4,000 troops to Liberia as initially expected. There are currently 2,200 American troops helping to build health care facilities there, and U.S. officials believe a force of about 3,000 will be an adequate enough response to help stem the worst-ever outbreak of Ebola.