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US troops to spend Thanksgiving in Ebola isolation

November 25, 2014

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Washington (AP) — A group of U.S. military service members returning to a Washington state base from Africa will spend Thanksgiving in isolation while the Army monitors their health for signs of Ebola.

The group arriving Tuesday at Joint Base Lewis-McChord includes 15 service members and one Defense Department civilian who built facilities in Liberia to fight the fatal disease, the Army said.

They were not exposed to Ebola-infected patients and the risk that they picked up the fatal disease is very minimal, said I Corps Maj. Mary Ricks. Because they have no symptoms, the isolation is called controlled monitoring rather than quarantine, Ricks said Tuesday.

They’ll have their temperature taken twice a day during their stay, which won’t be a full 21 days because they’ve already spent some time in Germany.

Lewis-McChord is not their home base. They come from all over the country and one is stationed overseas, Ricks said.

The base outside Seattle is one of five around the country set up for Ebola monitoring. The first troops returning from the Ebola mission in Africa went to Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Virginia earlier this month, Ricks said.

This is the first group for Lewis-McChord, which has room for two groups of 50 for a total of 100. That could go up to 1,000 if necessary, Ricks said.

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Information from: The News Tribune, http://www.thenewstribune.com

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