US withdrawing most troops fighting Ebola in West Africa

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US withdrawing most troops fighting Ebola in West Africa
The World Health Organization has assessed and cleared an Ebola test that shows results in as little as 15 minutes. What's more, it's easy to perform and doesn't require electricity, making it easier to use in community care clinics and mobile healthcare facilities throughout the western African countries at the heart of the current Ebola outbreak.
FILE - In this Sept. 30, 2014, file photo, nine-year-old Nowa Paye is taken to an ambulance after showing signs of the Ebola infection in the village of Freeman Reserve, about 30 miles north of Monrovia, Liberia. An experimental antiviral drug shows some early, encouraging signs of effectiveness in its first human tests against Ebola in West Africa, but only if patients get it when their symptoms first appear (AP Photo/Jerome Delay, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 27, 2014 file photo, health workers unload the lifeless body of a man suspected of contracting the Ebola virus, as they carry him to a grave site on the outskirts of Monrovia, Liberia. Health officials in the U.S. and Europe are scrambling to begin testing a handful of experimental Ebola drugs in Africa, but an ethical debate is brewing over how to appropriately test medicines amid an outbreak that has already killed nearly 5,000 people. (AP Photo/Abbas Dulleh, File)
An American soldier, left, washes his hands as a Chinese soldier, right, assists at the opening of a new Ebola virus clinic sponsored by China, in Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, Liberia got another 100 treatment beds in the fight against Ebola on Tuesday, as yet another Sierra Leonean doctor became infected with the disease sweeping West Africa. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf toured the Ebola treatment center built by China, calling it “first-class.”(AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)
Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, center, temperature is taken by a Chinese soldier, left, before the opening of a new Ebola virus clinic sponsored by China, in Monrovia, Liberia, Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014, Liberia got another 100 treatment beds in the fight against Ebola on Tuesday, as yet another Sierra Leonean doctor became infected with the disease sweeping West Africa. Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf toured the Ebola treatment center built by China, calling it “first-class.”(AP Photo/ Abbas Dulleh)
FILE- In this file photo taken on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014, members of the British forces are on a boat as they deliver Ebola related aid goods, and personnel who are working on containing the virus in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone rang in the new year without the usual midnight festivities on its beaches in the steamy capital. Instead, the president urged the nation to stay at home, fast and pray that the plague of Ebola will finally end in West Africa. (AP Photo/ Michael Duff, File)
Army Stf. Sgt. Samuel Hines, left, helps Cpl. Zachary Wicker tape gloves to his uniform in Fort Bliss, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 14, 2014. About 500 Fort Bliss soldiers are preparing for deployment to West Africa where they will provide support in a military effort to contain the Ebola outbreak. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
US soldiers stand in front of the new Ebola Treatment Center US built by the United States army on November 10, 2014 in Tubmanburg, the provincial capital of Bomi County in western Liberia. Bomi County has been one of the high-hit region by the deadly virus Ebola. In West Africa, underfunded health systems have been crippled by the disease, which has spiraled out of control and infected more than 13,000 people. AFP PHOTO/ZOOM DOSSO (Photo credit should read ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images)
US soldiers teach medical workers how to effectively wear protective gear during a training session on fighting Ebola on November 7, 2014 at the police academy in Monrovia, where a US military base is located. West Africa's regional bloc on November 7 called for international help to go beyond immediate medical care for Ebola-hit nations, warning that lives had been blighted by the epidemic. The raging Ebola outbreak has likely killed far more people than the 4,818 deaths reported by the World Health Organization, an expert at the UN health agency said on November 6, warning that thousands of fatalities were likely not accounted for. AFP PHOTO ZOOM DOSSO (Photo credit should read ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images)
US soldiers teach medical workers how to effectively wear protective gear during a training session on fighting Ebola on November 7, 2014 at the police academy in Monrovia, where a US military base is located. West Africa's regional bloc on November 7 called for international help to go beyond immediate medical care for Ebola-hit nations, warning that lives had been blighted by the epidemic. The raging Ebola outbreak has likely killed far more people than the 4,818 deaths reported by the World Health Organization, an expert at the UN health agency said on November 6, warning that thousands of fatalities were likely not accounted for. AFP PHOTO ZOOM DOSSO (Photo credit should read ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images)
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By JOSH LEDERMAN

WASHINGTON (AP) - The United States is preparing to withdraw nearly all of its troops fighting the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the White House said Tuesday, as the global health crisis recedes amid a sharp decline in Ebola cases.

Of the 2,800 troops the U.S. deployed, just 100 will remain in West Africa after April 30, officials said. About 1,500 of those troops have already returned home. Those staying in West Africa will work with Liberia's military, regional partners and U.S. civilians to continue fighting Ebola.

"Just 10 months since the first U.S. government personnel deployed, we have delivered extraordinary results," said U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator Rajiv Shah, adding that Ebola cases were down 80 percent and that in hard-hit Liberia, new cases have dwindled to just one or two per day.

President Barack Obama was to announce the withdrawal and outline the next steps the U.S. plans to take on Ebola at an event Wednesday at the White House. The move comes as Ron Klain, who led Obama's Ebola response and was informally dubbed the "Ebola czar," wraps up his work. The White House said Klain debriefed Obama on progress that's been made and what challenges remain.

The worst Ebola outbreak in world history has killed almost 9,000 people. The World Health Organization, the U.N. agency, warns that challenges remain in bringing cases to zero. The outbreak is expected to cost the three most affected countries, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea, at least $1.6 billion in lost economic growth this year.

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