The Pentagon is mobilizing 2,100 Army Reserve and Army National Guard soldiers to help combat the Ebola epidemic in West Africa, spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said Friday. The new involuntary call-up will not increase the number of forces deployed to Liberia and Senegal, but will replace troops currently serving in support of efforts to contain the outbreak.
There are currently 2,200 U.S. troops in the two countries, but that number will grow to nearly 3,000 by mid-December, officials have said. The troops have been tasked with building facilities, training health-care workers, and other tasks to help stem the deadly outbreak which has killed more than 5,100 people in Guinea, Sierra Leona and Liberia.
Some troops have already started returning to the U.S. More than 80 military personnel were set to return this week, where they will be placed in a special facility and monitored for 21 days as a precaution, even though defense officials said none are showing symptoms.
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