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Military Connection: US Soldiers Under Quarantine: By Debbie Gregory

Ebola QuarantineA group of US Army soldiers are under quarantine after assignment in Africa.

About a dozen Army personnel are currently under quarantine for 21 days in Vicenza, Italy. The measure is just a precaution. None of the personnel have yet to display any signs that they have contracted the Ebola virus. The group, including Major General Darryl Williams and his staff, are the first American service members to visit the Ebola hot zone in West Africa.

The quarantine was pushed for by the Joint Chiefs of Staff and approved by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. For their period of isolation, personnel can’t have any physical contact with family *or* loved ones. They must take their temperature twice a day and eat with plastic utensils that are destroyed after each use.

The isolated service members have been given phones and internet, and even places to exercise. General Williams told reporters that morale is high, and that this precautionary measure is just another part of their duty and assignment.

While the 21 day isolation period may seem like over-kill, and has been likened to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s quarantine of  nurse Kaci Hickox, it makes more sense in the military. First of all, service members are not average citizens who are free to come and go as they please. Service members have sworn to obey orders and must do what they’re told, even if it places them in harm’s way *or* is inconvenient.

That being said, with the rapid movement of service members from installation to installation where thousands of service members are massed in close quarters, it makes even more sense to take extra precautions with military personnel.

There are 75 more Army personnel expected to return to Italy from Liberia soon. They are also expected to go through a similar period of isolation. The current procedure will be closely monitored, and face a review after a 45 day period.

There are currently around 1,000 U.S. service members in West Africa, mainly in Senegal and Liberia. It’s expected that the number will be closer to 4,000 troops within the next several weeks. No American service members have been reported to have contracted Ebola, and with precautionary measures in place, it should stay that way.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: US Soldiers Under Quarantine: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Don’t Panic Over Ebola: By Debbie Gregory

ebolaNews stories are creating an Ebola scare in communities around the country. Cases of individuals suspected of having Ebola or having travelled to Western African countries without having any symptoms have forced schools to close and people to be quarantined, with more restrictions coming.

It is true that nine people have been confirmed to have had Ebola while on American soil. In fact one, Thomas Eric Duncan, even died from the virus. But the majority of Ebola reports are media hype. With that said,  it never hurts to be prepared in case the virus spreads to your neighborhood.

Although California has not yet confirmed any cases of the Ebola virus, the University of California Office of the President informed the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) that all UC Medical Centers are prepared to provide care for any Ebola cases in the state, if the need should arise.

There are five UC Medical Centers that include facilities at Davis, Irvine, Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco. These university hospitals will work closely with CDHP if any Ebola patients should present themselves. The announcement does not mean that the five UC Medical Centers are identified as treatment centers for Ebola cases coming from outside of the U.S. by the State Department.

CDHP will ensure that the UC Medical Centers have the most current treatment information for Ebola cases. The department and the individual facilities will make sure that the staff at all five medical facilities have the proper personal protective equipment to prevent the spreading of the virus from patients to healthcare professionals.

The Centers for Disease Control recently updated the PPE guidance, aligning them with California’s stricter standards. State officials will also work with these medical centers to ensure that medical waste generated from the treatment of an Ebola patient will be properly handled and disposed of.

In California, all hospitals in the state are expected to screen, identify and quarantine any patients at risk for Ebola. After initial screening, if further testing of the patient is needed, the hospital will contact the local health department, which can facilitate a more detailed assessment. If necessary, the local health officer will then coordinate with CDPH and CDC to pursue testing at CDC-approved laboratories. During the process, the patient would remain in isolation until the test results are received. If the result is positive, CDPH will work with the hospital, local health officers and the CDC to transfer the patient as needed.

Everyone should know that measures are being put in place in their communities around the country to detect, contain and ultimately cure the Ebola virus. Despite what news reports might tell you, there is no need to panic.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Don’t Panic Over Ebola: By Debbie Gregory

Military Connection: Americans Deploying to Liberia: By Debbie Gregory

LiberiaOn Thursday, October 16, 2014, President Obama authorized the use of National Guard and Reserve personnel to deploy to West Africa in support of efforts intended to stop the spreading of the Ebola virus.

To date, the Ebola virus has killed around 4,500 people. There have been eight confirmed cases in the United States. All eight cases were contracted while in the West African countries of Liberia, Senegal and Sierra Leone, or from direct contact with Thomas Eric Duncan. Duncan contracted the virus in Liberia, and then returned to the U.S.  Despite the extremely low number of cases in the U.S. and the fact that Ebola can only be transmitted through direct contact with bodily fluids, there has been a growing panic about the spreading of the virus.

However, in West Africa, there is a real and severe threat of Ebola spreading. Contracting the virus in those countries is very often a death sentence for entire families. Due to impoverished living conditions, understaffed/underfunded medical care and a lack of educational awareness about Ebola, the virus has spread like wildfire. Reports say that many of the inhabitants in West Africa aren’t educated about Ebola, including how it is contracted, its symptoms, and how to prevent contact with infected people and materials.

The U.S. has taken a leadership role in the global effort to contain and combat the Ebola virus. In September, the U.S. sent 500 troops to Liberia and Senegal to assess the situation, deliver humanitarian aid, and stage sites for furthering what is being dubbed “Operation United Assistance.”

As many as 4,000 service members are now headed to support of Operation United Assistance, including elements from the Army’s heralded 101st Airborne Division. The “Screaming Eagles” have been an integral part of U.S. Army operation from the invasion of Normandy to the occupation of Afghanistan. But the 101st has also taken part in other non-combat missions. In 1957, soldiers from the 101st assisted with the integration of high school students. They protected a group of African-American students, who would come to be known as the “Little Rock Nine” as they attended Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. In 2000, members of the 101st also helped  to combat fires in Bitterroot National Forest in Montana.

The president’s executive order also calls for the deployment of members of the Select Reserve and Individual Ready Reserves to deploy to West Africa, mainly Liberia.

Military Connection proudly serves those who serve in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Guard and Reserve, Veterans and their Families. We are the go to site for Veteran Employment and information on Veteran education. Militaryconnection.com provides Veterans with and Directory of Employers, a Job Board, information on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, and a blog that offers Veterans boundless information. Be sure to visit Militaryconnection.com, the go to site.

Military Connection: Americans Deploying to Liberia: By Debbie Gregory