The vast oceans that used to help shield the United States from the problems of the rest of the world for decades have been ineffective.
Wars, political strife and pandemics elsewhere might as well have occurred on American soil because they have proven themselves to be our problem, too. So it is wise that the U.S. is sending 3,000 American service members to West Africa to lead the response to the Ebola epidemic.
The World Health Organization warns that the Ebola virus is spreading rapidly and could infect tens of thousands of people before it is contained. Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea in Africa are currently experiencing the worst outbreaks.
U.S. troops are expected to help build new treatment facilities in Liberia and train as many as 500 new health care workers each week to relieve the volunteer shortage. About 5,000 people have the Ebola virus, and about 2,500 have died. The numbers have doubled in the past 14 days, making earlier United Nations estimates of 20,000 Ebola cases unrealistic.
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President Barack Obama in a visit to the Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention called the U.S. involvement in trying to contain the Ebola crisis the largest medical mission the United States has undertaken. The chance of an Ebola outbreak in the United States is low, Obama said.
Although some U.S. health care workers who were infected elsewhere have been brought back to America for treatment.
The U.S. has stepped up its involvement in trying to contain the virus because its interests globally are threatened by the disease if the economies of other countries collapse. U.S. troops being sent to West Africa are expected to include medical personnel, engineers, logisticians and transportation experts.
The goal is to isolate and treat people affected by the disease to keep it from spreading. Currently people are being turned away from medical facilities because the hospitals and clinics lack the capacity to handle the increasing number of cases. That only ensures that the Ebola virus will infect new victims.