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Army Reservists Train To Join Fight Against Ebola

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- The Ebola outbreak continues to ravage West Africa. The death toll is now at more than 8,000. The US response to the victims continues.

Gigi Barnett has more on a unit of Army reservists who are training to help in the fight against the deadly disease.

A military briefing at the U.S. Army Reserve Center in Glen Burnie Sunday was designed to save lives.

The soldiers are in the 313th Movement Control Battalion and the Department of Defense is sending them to West Africa in a mission designed to halt the spread of Ebola. Their role is clear.

"We're going to be providing air, ground and port support," said Army Reserve 1st Lieutenant Christina Seo.

Those supplies are crucial to saving lives in Senegal and Liberia, where the combined death toll is more than 8,000--but soldiers in the unit will be out of harm's way.

"It a huge relief for both ourselves and our families who are concerned about us going over there," Seo said. "Me personally, I think it will be interesting to see how it all goes down. But obviously, there is that sense of relief that we wouldn't be in direct contact with patients."

But there are other health concerns for the 50 to 60 soldiers in the unit. One of them is malaria. This training answers many of those questions.

"This is something definitely we don't want to bring back with us to our families to the United States," said Army Reserve Spec. Jonathan Cox.

When the soldiers return from the hardest-hit areas, a wait to see their families is required.

"As of now, the Department of Defense still has a mandatory quarantine period for soldiers coming back from the region of 21 days," said Army Reserve Capt. Fred Shear.

This isn't the first training the unit has undergone. They started preparing to go to West Africa back in November. Trainings will pick up later on this month until the unit deploys in early spring.

Altogether, more than 2,000 soldiers will be deployed to West Africa to help in the Ebola mission.

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