An as yet unnamed soldier stationed at Fort Hood was found dead outside of his residence a mere week after returning from a two month tour of duty in West Africa. The Preliminary BioFire assay tests are coming back negative for the Ebola virus as medical teams search for the soldier’s cause of death in Killeen, Texas.
The man was found face down in the front yard of a four unit apartment building around 8 a.m. Due to his recent return from the Ebola-stricken area of Liberia in West Africa, a hazmat team from the city of Killeen responded, and police cars blocked off the man’s street. The sudden unexplained death raised a few red flags and authorities were acting out an abundance of caution.
The soldier had returned to the U.S. less than a week ago and was granted emergency leave from the controlled monitoring, otherwise known as the twenty-one day quarantine. This leave is granted for extreme circumstances such as a death in the family or for the soldier to care for a dying family member, or other situation that in which the soldiers absence would place the soldier or his/her family under severe duress. Prior to obtaining this leave, he was cleared medically but was required to self monitor and report twice daily.
This soldier was one of eighty-seven who had returned to Fort Hood after a two month deployment to Liberia in West Africa. The U.S. has sent over 3,000 troops to Ebola-plagued West Africa to assist in the crisis for Operation United Assistance. This soldier, like the others, was not supposed to have contact with sick patients. The troops are in Africa in supportive roles, such as building Ebola treatment facilities, which is what this soldier had been doing, according to a post spokesman.
The soldier was declared deceased upon arrival of emergency personnel and was sent to the Carl R. Darnall Medical Center at Fort Hood for an autopsy and further testing. The Texas Department of State Health Services has been notified of the soldier’s death and potential exposure. The agency feels the risk to the community is very low. The hemorrhagic infection has killed over 8,000 people in African countries, and over 500 medical personnel that were attempting to treat the Ebola victims. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also been apprised of the situation, and some more extensive follow up tests are being performed to completely rule out the devastating Ebola virus as the cause of the young soldier’s demise.
[Image via Controversial Times]