The United States military is creating a 30-person "quick-strike team" that can treat Ebola patients inside the U.S., CNN reported Sunday, citing a Defense Department official.
The team will include five doctors, 20 nurses and five trainers, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement to CNN.
The team, requested by the Department of Health and Human Services, can deploy within 72 hours at any time over the next month, the official told CNN.
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The Pentagon has been working to determine what assistance it could offer the civilian health care sector following a White House meeting last week during which President Barack Obama said he wanted a more aggressive response, according to two Defense officials.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered chief of the Northern Command, Gen. Chuck Jacoby, "to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if required, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States," Kirby said.
Jacoby is already working with the military on the joint team, Kirby said, and once formed, it will head to Fort Sam Houston in Texas for up to seven days of training in infection control and personal protective equipment. The training, provided by the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, will begin "within the next week or so," Kirby said.
The team will remain in "prepare-to-deploy" status for 30 days, he said. It will be able to respond anywhere in the U.S. if "deemed prudent by our public health professionals," he said.