Ebola: US forms task team

The US military is forming a team equipped to provide direct treatment to patients inside the country.

FILE: An Ebola sign placed in front of a home in the West Point slum area of Monrovia, Liberia. Picture: EPA.

NEW YORK - The United States military is forming a team of people equipped to provide direct treatment to Ebola patients inside the country.

The Department of Health and Human Services requested the team as a measure to respond to any additional Ebola cases within the US, after a man died at a Texas hospital two weeks ago.

The 30 person team, consisting of five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers will be under orders to deploy within 72 hours at any given time over next month.

At the same time, some of the dozens being watched for possible exposure to Ebola are expected to be cleared today, potentially easing concerns about the spread of the disease after two nurses in Texas were infected.

Ebola has killed over 4,500 people, mostly in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea.

Meanwhile a cruise ship carrying a lab worker, who was working with Ebola samples, has returned to Texas after the woman tested negative for the deadly disease.

The Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital lab supervisor and her husband were the first passengers to disembark from the massive cruise ship and were both screened by Centre for Disease Control (CDC) doctors.

The cruise company says it was going to aggressively clean and sanitise the vessel before the next trip, though the CDC says it isn't necessary.

CNN's Nick Valencia says, "They didn't decline the request from the US State Department to extract that lab supervisor, who may have come into contact with a specimen from Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who subsequently died from the Ebola virus.

He says, "But we know, according to the Galveston County Health officials that her preliminary public health assessment, they say came asymptomatic."


An experimental Ebola vaccine is expected to be shipped to the World Health Organisation (WHO) today, in the latest hope of stopping the deadly disease.

The Canadian government is sending 800 vials to Geneva in three shipments starting today.

News of the vaccine shipment comes as the WHO tries to deal with the leak of a scathing internal report on how the organisation has dealt with the Ebola outbreak.

CNN's Nic Robertson says, "I spoke with Doctor Isabelle Nuttall, who is the director of the WHO, and what she told me was more could have been done but she also said that in the early stages they didn't have a diagnosis for Ebola and that it was very difficult to get information from West Africa."

Additonal reporting by CNN.