WASHINGTON, November 14 (Sputnik) – About 2,100 US soldiers will be mobilized to support Ebola response efforts, and will replace American troops currently deployed in Senegal and Liberia, the Pentagon has announced.
"Army officials are in the process of notifying individual soldiers and their families of this mobilization," the Pentagon said in a statement released Friday.
"Once all of the appropriate notifications have been completed, we will provide additional information about units and specialties being mobilized," the statement added.
The new group of soldiers will be sent to support the Pentagon's Ebola response efforts known as Operation United Assistance and will be replacing troops who are currently in Senegal and Liberia.
In addition to conducting regionally-specific training on Ebola prevention, the soldiers will also help with malaria prevention and ensure that the countries are prepared for any medical threats before they leave.
"As we rotate US military personnel, we will take all prudent steps necessary to ensure their safety and implement procedures and protocols to reduce or eliminate the risk of transmission of the Ebola virus," the Pentagon statement emphasized.
The current Ebola epidemic started in southern Guinea in late 2013 and later spread to Liberia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, and Senegal. Since then, Senegal and Nigeria have been declared free of the virus by the World Health Organization (WHO), with Liberia having recently lifted its state of emergency.
As of November 11, 5,177 people have died from the current Ebola outbreak, with 14,413 confirmed, probable, and suspected cases of the virus having been reported, according to the WHO.
Ebola is transmitted through direct contact with the bodily fluids of those infected. Although there is no officially approved cure for the disease, several countries, including Russia, are currently working on Ebola vaccines.