SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- The US military has told its forces in Liberia not to directly handle Ebola patients or blood samples due to a potential danger to the health of the soldiers.
“Mission inside Liberia of our troops does not include direct contact with patients, handling of patients, or of the blood samples,” said Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby on Thursday.
Kirby said American aircraft deployed to the African country should not be used to move Ebola patients or blood samples.
“Safety is obviously a number-one concern, and those pilots and those crews… they’re not trained and they’re not equipped to conduct those kinds of flights.”
The US has deployed military forces to the Ebola-hit countries of Liberia and Senegal to help with an international campaign to fight the disease.
The Pentagon had initially intended to send nearly 4,000 troops to the two African countries but said last week it would only deploy about 3,000 forces.
The Ebola virus has been most devastating in the West African countries of Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea, which have seen the most fatalities with 2,964, 1,250 and 1,192 deaths respectively, according to the WHO.
Ebola is a form of hemorrhagic fever whose symptoms are diarrhea, vomiting, and bleeding. The virus spreads through direct contact with infected blood, feces, or sweat. It can be also spread through sexual contact or the unprotected handling of contaminated corpses.