U.S. hopes to send more experts to Congo as Ebola outbreak rages

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hopes to send experts to Congo in the next few weeks to train international and local personnel in the fight against a raging Ebola outbreak that has killed nearly 600 people and is far from under control, the CDC director said Thursday in an interview.

Because of the worsening security situation, the CDC experts would not be based in the epicenter of the outbreak, in conflict-ridden parts of eastern Congo. Armed attacks against Ebola treatment centers in North Kivu province have increased in recent weeks. One attack took place hours before CDC Director Robert Redfield and World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus arrived last week as part of a WHO delegation to assess the situation on the ground.

Three CDC personnel are on temporary assignment about 200 miles south of the epicenter, in the city of Goma, the capital of North Kivu, Redfield said.

If U.S. security personnel give their approval, “we’re hoping to augment that team significantly to increase that training,” Redfield said in an interview. Government sources said the CDC hopes to send as many as 10 people for the temporary training assignments.

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