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US Soldier on Leave From W. Africa Found Dead at Texas Home

FILE - Military police guard the visitors center at the entrance to Fort Hood, Texas.

A U.S. soldier who assisted in the fight against Ebola in West Africa has been found dead at his home near the Fort Hood military base in Killeen, Texas, but there's not yet any indication that the death was related to the disease.

Army officials said the soldier had recently returned from West Africa for a nonmedical family emergency. He was ordered to self-monitor for Ebola symptoms twice a day and report his status to medical officials.

Authorities, dressed in hazmat suits, collected his body Tuesday. Army spokesman Lt. Col. Don Peters said medical workers were testing the soldier's remains for traces of the Ebola virus. He added, however, that the death did not appear connected to the deadly disease.

“There’s no indication that this is related to Ebola, but we are taking those tests over an abundance of caution to ensure there is no threat to the community,” Peters said.

U.S. troops returning from West Africa must undergo a 21-day monitoring period at their posts before re-entering their communities, but officials made an exception for this soldier because of his emergency situation.

The Army said it was working in conjunction with local authorities to determine the cause of the soldier's death.

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    Carla Babb

    Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Her datelines include Ukraine, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.