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US Peace Corps withdraws hundreds of volunteers from West Africa over Ebola fears

Published on Jul 31, 2014 6:26 AM
A Samaritan's Purse team member hands out pamphlets to educate the public on the Ebola virus in Monrovia, Liberia in this undated handout photo courtesy of Samaritan's Purse. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US Peace Corps announced on Wednesday it was pulling hundreds of volunteers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone due to growing concerns over the spread of the deadly Ebola epidemic raging in West Africa.

A Peace Corps spokeswoman said two volunteers had contracted Ebola after coming into contact with someone who later died from the virus, but she stressed that they were not symptomatic and were currently under medical observation and being held in isolation.

"When they receive medical clearance for return to the US, we will work with them to travel safely back," she added.

The US government-run volunteer agency said it would "closely monitor" the outbreak with US experts from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and State Department before a future return to the three countries, those most affected by the outbreak. It set no date for resuming operations.

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