An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Home : Media : News : News Article View
NEWS | Nov. 3, 2014

Pacific Air Forces Prepares for Ebola Detection and Control

By Staff Pacific Air Forces Public Affairs

Ebola.  It's all over the news, litters our Facebook feeds and has become a common topic of conversation.  Healthcare workers from a variety of organizations have mobilized to Africa to help fight the disease, and now, some military members have begun to deploy to Liberia to support those efforts.

But, is there cause to be worried about it in the Pacific?

"There's no need for Pacific Air Forces Airmen and their families to be worried about Ebola at this time," said Col Jeffrey Freeland, Chief, Aerospace Medicine Division at PACAF. "No cases of the disease have been reported in the PACAF area of responsibility, and all outbreaks are being closely monitored by public health teams.  However, people should be educated about it as they are about other infectious diseases."

Ebola virus disease, or EVD, is potentially deadly but it can be prevented. Symptoms appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure, but typically between eight and 10 days.  Symptoms include fever, headache, myalgia, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, abdominal pain and unexplained hemorrhage.  Recovery from Ebola depends on good supportive clinical care and the patient's immune response.

The disease is spread through direct contact, through broken skin or mucous membranes, with blood or body fluids of a person who is sick with Ebola. It can also be spread through direct contact with objects like needles and syringes that have been contaminated with the virus.

"It's important to remember that transmission requires direct contact.  It is not spread through the air, by water or in general, food," said Lt. Col. Randall Langsten, PACAF Public Health officer.  "You cannot catch Ebola by passing an infected individual in a grocery store or hallway, for example." 

According to the PACAF Surgeon General's office, U.S. military members are deploying for command and control, logistics support, training, and engineering - not providing direct care to the local population. Consequently, it is unlikely that any deploying members will contract Ebola.  As a precaution, all U.S. military members deployed to affected areas will be screened for 21 days after redeployment to monitor for signs of the disease. 

And what if an active case presents itself in the Asia-Pacific Region? PACAF has coordinated with the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control for a rapid and joint response to any occurrence of the virus should DOD assistance be required, according to Freeland.

"We have the capability and expertise to identify potential cases of EVD and mitigate any risks that would arise if a positive diagnosis is made," said Freeland.  "Every military treatment facility in PACAF is preparing to quickly prevent any spread of the disease."

More information about EVD is available online from a variety of sources, but the PACAF Surgeon General's office encourages Airmen and their families to get information from trustworthy, reliable sources. 

"The internet is full of people who don't understand the disease, but can easily share incorrect information through blogs, videos and social media sites," said Langsten.  "We absolutely want our Airmen and their families to be educated about the disease, but we want to make sure they get accurate information from scientific, reputable sources to ensure they are well-informed."


Like Us
Follow Us



Australia Welcomes United Sates Marines Back to Darwin
US Marines have begun arriving in the Northern Territory for this year’s Marine Rotational Force – Darwin. They will conduct training activities to deepen interoperability and better position our forces to respond to contingencies in the region.
March 22, 2023 - Defence Australia -- United States Marines have arrived in the Northern Territory as part of the 12th rotation of Marine Rotational Force – Darwin (MRF-D).Over the next seven months, up to 2,500 Marines will conduct combined...

Logistics in Peacetime is Hard Enough; Now Add Water, Distance, and Being Shot At: USFJ DCOM
Brig. Gen. James Wellons, deputy commander of U.S. Forces Japan, participated in a panel at the Defense Security Equipment International conference in Tokyo, Japan, Friday, March 17. The panel, comprised of military officers from each service of Japan’s Self Defense Forces as well as senior officers from the British Army and Royal Australian Air Force, discussed the important role of logistics planning to national security strategy.
March 22, 2023 - TOKYO, Japan -- Brigadier General James B. Wellons, deputy commander, U.S. Forces Japan, participated on a panel at the Defense Security Equipment International conference in Tokyo, Japan, Mar. 17, 2023.The panel, comprised...

CTF 74 Visits U.S. Submarine in Australia
Royal Australian Navy Rear Adm. Matt Buckley, Head of Capability, Nuclear Powered Submarine Task Force and Rear Adm. Rick Seif, commander, Submarine Group 7 board the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) for a distinguished visitor cruise with Australian political leaders and diplomatic guests, March 15. Asheville conducted multiple tours for distinguished visitors during a routine visit to HMAS Stirling, Western Australia to enhance interoperability and communication, and strengthen relationships with the Royal Australian Navy.
March 21, 2023 - HMAS STIRLING, Australia -- Rear Adm. Rick Seif, commander, Submarine Group 7/Task Force (CTF) 74, visited Perth, Australia, to meet with the Sailors of the Los Angeles-class fast-attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758)...

U.S. Indo-Pacific Commander Presents Gen. Yamazaki with Legion of Merit
TOKYO (March 19, 2023) Gen. Kōji Yamazaki, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, joins Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, at a ceremony presenting Yamazaki with the Legion of Merit in Tokyo. Yamazaki received the award for exceptionally meritorious service, where his professionalism, initiative and dedication to duty resulted in significant advancements in the United States-Japan mutual security partnership, expansions to the Self-Defense Forces contributions regionally and globally, updates to force posture and continuous bilateral information exchange. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Shannon M. Smith)
March 21, 2023 - Adm. John C. Aquilino, Commander U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, presented Gen. Kōji Yamazaki, Chief of Staff, Joint Staff of the Japan Self-Defense Forces, with the Legion of Merit, Degree of Commander, in Toyko on March 19,...

U.S. Coast Guard, Federated States of Micronesia National Police Conduct at-sea Engagements to Combat Illegal Fishing, Strengthen Skills
The USCGC Oliver Henry (WPC 1140) makes a port call in Yap during a Federated States of Micronesia patrol on March 13, 2023. The Oliver Henry is the 40th 154-foot Sentinel-class fast response cutter named for Oliver T. Henry, Jr., an enlisted African American Coast Guard member first to break the color barrier of a then-segregated Service and homeports in Guam.
March 21, 2023 - SANTA RITA, Guam -- The U.S. Coast Guard (USCGC) and Federated States of Micronesia National Police conducted a successful at-sea engagement to combat illegal fishing in Yap State on March 16, 2023.The crews of USCGC Oliver...