Latest Updates / Obama: U.S. Likely to See Individual Ebola Cases if Outbreak Isn't Contained in West Africa

WHO: Ebola death toll likely over 5,000; Beijing recommends home quarantine for travelers from Ebola regions; U.S. soldiers under Ebola quarantine in Italy told to 'go home'; Obama to give Ebola speech on Wednesday evening.

AFP

Click here for Tuesday's updates on the Ebola outbreak

Latest updates:

9:58 P.M. Obama: Americans likely to see individual Ebola cases in U.S. if outbreak isn't contained in West Africa (Reuters)

5:12 P.M. Chuck Hagel approves quarantine-like monitoring for U.S. troops returning from Ebola mission in West Africa

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday approved strict, quarantine-like monitoring for all U.S. troops returning from the Ebola relief mission in West Africa, the Pentagon said.

Hagel signed a memo asking top military commanders to develop an implementation plan to place U.S. military personnel returning from Ebola-affected countries into a "21-day controlled monitoring regimen," Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said in a statement. (Reuters) 

3:54 P.M. WHO: Ebola death toll likely over 5,000

The Ebola death toll is likey over 5,000 out of 13,703 cases, Dr. Bruce Aylward of the World Health Organization said. Aylward said the death rate is currently running at 70 percent, but there is a better rate for people who get to treatment centers.

Aylward added that Mali is putting in a "herculean effort" to trace contacts of the toddler who died from Ebola, and the virus appears to be slowing down in Liberia. (Reuters)

1:30 P.M. U.S. soldiers under Ebola quarantine in Italy told to "go home"

Italy should not allow U.S. soldiers returning from Ebola-stricken Liberia to be quarantined in Italy, the governor of the region that hosts an American army base said in an interview Wednesday.

Since Sunday, 11 soldiers back from active duty in the West African nation have been kept in isolation at the U.S. army base in Vicenza, a town in north-east Italy about 40 kilometers from Venice.

"I am stunned ... Why should we be stuck with these soldiers who are at risk," Veneto President Luca Zaia said in La Repubblica newspaper.

"They should pack their bags and go home. There is no way we can become a leper hospital," Zaia added, arguing that "Italy has once again shown itself as spineless" by allowing the US soldiers into its territory.

Zaia is a member of the Northern League, a right-wing, anti-immigration party that has in the past called for the secession of Italy's wealthiest northern regions from the poorer south.

U.S. soldiers are slated to be quarantined for 21 days. Those under the regime include General Darryl Williams, Commander of U.S. Army forces in Africa.
"We feel great," he said Tuesday in an interview via videoconference with CNN. (DPA)

12:30 P.M. Beijing recommends home quarantine for people coming from Ebola regions

China's capital will suggest to people returning from regions affected by Ebola to quarantine themselves at home for 21 days, and to undergo twice daily temperature checks if they have had contact with patients, state media said on Wednesday.

China has not reported any confirmed cases of the deadly virus, though several suspected cases have ended up in hospital for observation.

People returning to Beijing from Ebola-affected regions will have to undergo temperature checks at the airport and will be sent to hospital for tests if their temperature exceeds 37.3 degrees Celsius, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Those without a fever but who have had contact with Ebola patients will have to have their temperatures checked twice a day for 21 days, it added.

People who have had no contact with Ebola patients will be recommended to quarantine themselves at home for 21 days, the report said.

Xinhua did not say what would happen if people refused to quarantine themselves.
"Beijing has experience with SARS and the H7N9 (bird flu) virus. Once there is a case of Ebola, we have the ability to control its spread," city health official Zhao Tao told Xinhua. (Reuters)

4:46 A.M. Obama to give Ebola speech

U.S. President Barack Obama is set to deliver remarks about the fight against Ebola on Wednesday at an event with doctors and nurses who are volunteering in West Africa, and after meeting with his top health and national security advisers about the issue.

The White House said Obama would give the speech in the White House East Room at 3:40 P.M. EDT. (Reuters)