Peace Corps Evacuates Ebola-Affected Region, With Two Volunteers In Isolation

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The Peace Corps announced its evacuation of 340 volunteers from Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone today as the worst Ebola virus outbreak in history continues. In a press release, the organization wrote:

The Peace Corps has enjoyed long partnerships with the government and people of Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea and is committed to continuing volunteers' work there. A determination on when volunteers can return will be made at a later date.

But two volunteers who were stationed in Liberia will not yet return to the U.S., according to a CBS news report. A spokeswoman told the network that the volunteers, who "had contact with an individual who later died of the Ebola virus," will remain in an isolation ward for 21 days.

These efforts mirror stricter measures throughout Liberia in particular, according to a Reuters report.

"This is a major public health emergency. It's fierce, deadly and many of our countrymen are dying and we need to act to stop the spread," Lewis Brown, Liberia's information minister, told Reuters.

The Zaire strain, which is responsible for the current outbreak, is deadly in up to 90 percent of cases, according to the World Health Organization. Symptoms are flu-like, including fever, headaches, muscle soreness, diarrhea and vomiting. Those suffering from Ebola may have a rash, red eyes and may bleed from their orifices. The disease is only contagious from individuals who are already exhibiting symptoms, via contact with bodily fluids like blood, sweat and urine.

It is unclear if the Peace Corps volunteers, who are currently anonymous, had such contact.

Since March, the current Ebola outbreak has infected 1,201 people and killed 672 in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, according to the World Health Organization.

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