The United States military is almost finished building Ebola treatment units in Liberia, raising questions about how long the soldiers will stay in the country once their work is complete.
Maj. Gen. Gary Volesky, the commander of the military's Ebola task force, told The Wall Street Journal the U.S. will make a decision by the middle of next month on whether or not to keep the troops in the region, or perhaps send them to Sierra Leone or Guinea, or ship them back to the U.S.
"If the progress in Liberia continues the direction it is going in and we don't get told to do something outside Liberia, I expect we would start to redeploy some forces," Volesky said. "If they tell us to do something else, we will do that."
U.S. forces sent to Liberia as part of the Ebola task force, have helped build 14 Ebola treatment units including one that was finished last Monday, reports the Journal.
The Ebola outbreak has slowed considerably in recent weeks, according to data from the World Health Organization (WHO).
Volesky told the Journal the military has scaled back the number of deployed soldiers and troops on the ground have constructed smaller treatment units than first planned because of the plummeting case numbers.
None of the U.S. troops, Volesky said, have been in contact with anyone infected with the Ebola virus. Their temperatures are also checked twice a day as a safeguard.
The WHO reports that there have been 18,603 reported cases of the disease, of which 6,915 people have died. Liberia has the highest death toll with 3,290, followed by Sierra Leone (2,085) and Guinea (1,525).
Time magazine recently named the Ebola fighters, a group that consists of healthcare workers helping to stop the spread of the deadly virus and treating patients infected with it, as its Time Persons of the Year.