The United States Military sent six planes, which arrived in Liberia today bringing the total number of American troops in the country to 300. The four MV-22 Ospreys and two KC-130’s are just the latest to land in the regions hit hardest by the disease that is now being compared to the AIDS virus.
Sierra Leone President Ernest Bai Koroma said, “Our people are dying,” in an emotional message, which truly conveyed the desperation of the situation. The situation in western Africa has been described as “very fragile,” desperate, trying, and now an “international threat.”
Tim Friedan who is the director of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is the individual that pointed out the comparison to the AIDS epidemic. The goal right now, across the board is containment, and creating a solution.
Last month first-stage human testing started with a potential Ebola vaccine began which would work to identify the functionality and the safety around a vaccine. A handful of health care workers centered in Mali were given the experimental vaccine as a part of this test, which was developed by the United States government.
However, we’re still several months away from the vaccine ever being used in the exposed, or hard hit regions. If this first round of testing is effective, by early 2015 the vaccine could be used in the hardest hit countries like Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia.
This though comes on the heels of the United States, and British authorities instituting “enhanced” screening for travelers coming from hot spots, or places that are deemed high-risk. A brief medical assessment will be given to any individuals that are coming from hard hit areas, which would include a temperature reading – the same as the military personnel that just landed in the area received.
The Ebola outbreak has now killed over 3,800 people. Most of the deaths have occurred in Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. The United States military is also working to build medical centers capable of handling the crisis and the individuals that are effected by the disease, but the United States is adamant that they will send as many as 4,000 troops should future issues warrant the move.
Further, this comes as Americans are growing increasingly concerned about the outbreak, and how it could impact lives inside the United States as the first patient in the United States died this week from the disease.