Troops Deployed to Halt Ebola Spread

2nd US patient 'weak but improving'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 6, 2014 5:20 AM CDT
Troops Deployed to Halt Ebola Spread
A public information board explains the symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus in the city of Freetown, Sierra Leone.   (AP Photo/Youssouf Bah)

At the center of the worst-ever Ebola outbreak, hundreds of troops have been deployed to isolate hard-hit communities and clinics housing infected patients. A military spokesman in Sierra Leone says convoys will bring food and medicine to the affected areas, reports the Guardian, which notes that poor enforcement of quarantine has helped spread the outbreak, which has now claimed 887 lives. Hundreds of troops have also been deployed in Liberia, where officials in the capital, Monrovia, say relatives of victims have been dumping infected bodies in the streets in an effort to avoid quarantine, Reuters reports.

Officials in Sierra Leone say people have been defying quarantine rules, in some cases snatching infected family members from clinics. "Where there is a serious situation, the president can invoke military assistance to civil power," the president’s director of communications tells the New York Times. "You have to understand that there has been a lot of lawlessness connected to this Ebola business." The US is sending 50 public health experts to the region to help fight the outbreak. In Atlanta, meanwhile, the second Ebola patient to arrive in the US is being cared for at Emory University Hospital. Nancy Writebol's husband says the 59-year-old is weak but improving, the AP reports. (More Ebola stories.)

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