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U.S. Soldiers Receive Just Four Hours of Ebola Training Before Deployment

Ebola Military Training

U.S. soldiers preparing for deployment to Africa to combat Ebola are only given four hours of Ebola-related training, the Daily Beast reports.

Soldiers preparing for deployment to West Africa are given just four hours of Ebola-related training before leaving to combat the epidemic. And the first 500 soldiers to arrive have been holing up in Liberian hotels and government facilities while the military builds longer-term infrastructure on the ground. […]

The training process sounds daunting: One USA Today report described soldiers being told that Ebola "basically causes your body to eat itself from the inside out" and that Ebola is "worse" than what soldiers encountered in Afghanistan. Others reportedly heard that the disease is "catastrophic" and "frightening… with a high fatality rate," though the chances of contracting it are low.

"I’ll be honest with you," one soldier told the newspaper. "I’m kind of scared."

The military maintains that the risk of contracting the virus is minimal. Ebola is not an airborne disease, and there are no plans for U.S. service members deployed to West Africa to have any contact with sick patients.