U.S. Africa Commander Gen. David Rodriguez told reporters Tuesday that US forces sent to West Africa will have contact with Ebola patients.
But, they will be protected from the virus.
The NY Daily News reported:
A small number of the nearly 4,000 U.S. military personnel headed to Liberia to combat the Ebola outbreak will have direct contact with virus victims, the general overseeing the mission said Tuesday.
Gen. David M. Rodriguez, commander of U.S. Africa Command, also said the U.S. military effort to fight the outbreak could last “about a year,” far longer than the quick mission many Americans have imagined.
U.S. officials have previously said that the military personnel being deployed will provide logistical support.
But Rodriguez said Tuesday that personnel manning mobile testing labs will have contact with disease victims as they screen sick people to see if they have Ebola or another illness, like malaria.
Rodriguez said the service members who will staff the labs will have special training to deal with any biological hazard. If they are sickened they will be isolated and sent on special planes to secure medical facilities in the U.S. for treatment, he said.