Pentagon preps Ebola team for response to cases in US

Pentagon preps Ebola team for response to cases in US

The U.S. military is readying a 30-person team for Ebola response inside the U.S., the Defense Department said on Sunday.

The team, which will be ready to "respond quickly, effectively and safely" in the event of more Ebola cases, is in response to a request by the Department of Health and Human Services.

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"Secretary [Chuck] Hagel today ordered his Northern Command Commander, Gen. Charles Jacoby, to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if required, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States," Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said in statement.

The team will consist of 20 critical care nurses, five doctors who specialize in infectious disease, and five specialists in infectious disease protocol training, Kirby said.

The team will be sent to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for seven days of specialized training in infection control and personal protective equipment, the Pentagon said. The training will start in the coming week, once the team is formed.

After training, it will be in a "prepare to deploy" status for 30 days, readily available to be sent to locations across the U.S. if it is needed.

"They will not be sent to West Africa or elsewhere overseas and will be called upon domestically only if deemed prudent by our public health professionals," Kirby said.

The team is meant to ensure the U.S. can respond quickly to a potential spread immediately as it happens, the Pentagon said.

Kirby added that Hagel is "committed" to ensuring the military is "prepared to provide appropriate capabilities … to support our government's response to this deadly disease."

— This report was last updated at 2:07 p.m.