An American soldier has been cleared after he was closely monitored by the military for showing symptoms of the deadly Ebola virus upon his return on Tuesday from the U.S. mission in West Africa, according to the Pentagon.
“He tested negative for Ebola. He has now returned … to the 21-day controlled monitoring regiment now that we know that he does not Ebola,” Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters on Thursday.
“I can’t get into specifics because of privacy, but I can tell you that … it’s an illness other than Ebola and eminently treatable and does not preclude him from joining the rest of his cohorts.”
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has imposed a 21-day quarantine for troops returning from the U.S. military mission to contain the lethal Ebola virus in West Africa.
During an off-camera press briefing on Wednesday, Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, revealed that 69 soldiers were under the mandatory quarantine in Ft. Bliss, Texas, including the service member who was suspected of having the disease.
“Don’t panic,” said Warren, Fox News reports. “Of the group that came back yesterday to Ft. Bliss one person did appear ill. We are taking all the appropriate measures. So far nothing more than that, it could have just as easily been air sickness.”
The soldier “threw up” on the way back to the U.S., according to spokesman.
About 2,200 U.S. troops are combating the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, who has assumed responsibility of the Ebola mission, said up to 3,000 soldiers will deploy to West Africa.
Hagel has authorized the mobilization of up to 2,100 Army Reserve and National Guard forces for the U.S. military’s Ebola efforts.