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.
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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