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Pentagon Budgets $750 Million for Ebola Over 6 Months

  • VOA News

An ambulance carrying a Spanish nurse who has contracted Ebola arrives at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, Oct. 7, 2014, in this still image taken from video.

An ambulance carrying a Spanish nurse who has contracted Ebola arrives at the Carlos III Hospital in Madrid, Oct. 7, 2014, in this still image taken from video.

The U.S. military says its efforts to help end the Ebola crisis in Liberia will cost $750 million over six months.

General David Rodriguez, who commands U.S. troops in Africa, told reporters the Pentagon put two more mobile medical labs into operation last week, increasing the capacity to quickly diagnose Ebola.

He also said he is confident the 4,000 service members being deployed as part of the anti-Ebola effort are sufficiently trained to avoid infection.

Rodriguez said the troops are providing logistics, training, diagnostic, and engineering support.

In Spain, officials are investigating how a nurse in Madrid contracted the Ebola virus. Health officials say the woman helped to treat two Spanish missionary priests who died last month after being flown back from Liberia and Sierra Leone.

Health officials said the woman helped to treat two Spanish missionary priests who died last month after being flown back from Liberia and Sierra Leone. But they said all proper safety procedures were followed in the care of the missionaries.

The woman was hospitalized Sunday with a fever and is reported to be in stable condition. Health officials said her husband and another health care worker who treated the missionaries have been quarantined, as well as a man who recently arrived in Spain from Nigeria.

Officials said they were monitoring about 30 other people who came into contact with the nurse for Ebola symptoms.

(click to enlarge)

(click to enlarge)

Meanwhile, an American journalist diagnosed in Liberia with the Ebola virus is being treated at a hospital in the western state of Nebraska. Ashoka Mukpo arrived Monday on a specially equipped plane and placed in an isolation unit at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.

Mukpo, who was on assignment in Liberia for NBC News, is the fifth person in the United States to be diagnosed with Ebola.

In Washington Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama said the chances for an Ebola outbreak in the United States are "extremely low," but also said his administration is considering new measures to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the U.S.

The president said officials are working on additional screening protocols for international airline passengers both in West Africa and the United States.

Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian man who became the first confirmed case of Ebola on American soil, is in critical condition at a hospital in Dallas, Texas

Ebola has taken about 3,500 lives in West Africa since the outbreak began last year. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone are the hardest-hit countries.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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