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Ebola outbreak unparalleled; 2500 deaths to date

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Posted at 8:52 AM, Sep 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-16 11:19:08-04

The World Health Organization has ordered a global response as the death toll from Ebola virus climbs to over 2,500, with over 5,000 infected.

The outbreak is “unparalleled in modern times,” said the WHO Tuesday. The organization announced a global response coalition, which will be led by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon.

According to WHO Assistant Director-General Bruce Aylward, a fast response is needed to keep the numbers infected within the “tens of thousands.”

In response to the WHO’s appeal, the People’s Republic of China has announced it will dispatch a mobile laboratory team to Sierra Leone to enhance laboratory testing capacity for the Ebola virus.

The 59-person team from the Chinese Center for Disease Control will include epidemiologists, clinicians and nurses.

The humanitarian crisis that has resulted from the outbreak in West Africa is a top national security priority for the United States.

Along with the United Nations and other international partners, the U.S. is heeding the call to provide aid.

President Barack Obama is due to announce a military-led surge in aid to fight the outbreak on Tuesday.

He is expected to announce that the U.S. Africa Command will set up a Joint Force Command headquartered in Monrovia, Liberia, to provide regional command and control support to facilitate coordination with international relief efforts.

A general from U.S. Army Africa will lead this effort, which will involve an estimated 3,000 U.S. forces.

The plan calls for more health care professionals, more medical facilities and increased training for first responders and other medical officials throughout West Africa.

The U.S. has committed more than $175 million to addressing the crisis, to date. The additional commitment is expected to cost $763 million in six months.

Click here to learn more about the WHO’s planned course of action for dealing with the Ebola crisis.