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Tuesday, 05 August 2014 16:09

U.S., Foreign Health Workers to Flock to West Africa Amid Ebola Crisis

(MCT) — With dozens of local doctors and medical staff among the dead, U.S. and foreign experts are preparing to flood into West Africa to help fight the deadliest Ebola outbreak on record.

Although two Americans, Dr. Kent Brantly and health worker Nancy Writebol, have contracted the disease, health experts say foreigners taking careful precautions should not be at serious risk.

But more than 60 local medical staff, about 8 percent of the fatalities, have died in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea — poor countries with weak, overloaded health-care systems that are ill-equipped to handle the outbreak.

Ebola expert G. Richards Olds, dean of medicine at UC Riverside, compared local health-care workers there to doctors who donned beaked masks, leather boots and long, waxed gowns to fight the plague in medieval Europe.