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US military presence in West Africa could rise to 4,000 as Ebola fight intensifies

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More troops will be sent to contain the epidemic, as the US faces criticism for its response to the disease

Sergey Uryadnikov / Shutterstock.com

The number of troops sent to the West African countries crippled by the Ebola epidemic may rise as high as 4,000, according to The New York Times. The announcement comes as the US has faced criticism for its response to Ebola at home and abroad.

On September 30, 1,400 Army soldiers were deployed to West Africa. Yesterday, another 1,800 were sent.

Last month, the U.S. announced 3,000 military personnel would be sent to the hardest-hit areas to help create treatment centers. But in Liberia, the troops have been "slow to arrive" and the military hasn't been able to set the treatment centers as quickly as promised. That's hampered the effort to halt the virus's spread.

Meanwhile, the US has been contending with its first case of Ebola, which was diagnosed when a man who had traveled to Texas from Liberia got sick. The man, Thomas E. Duncan, apparently knew he had contact with an Ebola patient and lied on airport screening forms in order to get out of Liberia. Then, when he arrived at a Dallas hospital with symptoms and told them he'd been in Liberia, he was nonetheless released. Three days later, he was placed in isolation at the hospital, which blamed electronic health records for the mistake.