Colorado man at heart of Ebola fight returns after 2 months in Liberia

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Ebola 5Tim Callaghan, of Loveland, has led the Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for the past two months. He just finished his term and has returned to base from Liberia.

One of Callaghan’s accomplishments was arranging for the distribution of 50,000 household protection kits, which contain disinfectant, gloves, and masks. They are designed to protect family members who are caring for sick loved ones at home. Because Ebola is transmitted through bodily secretions, it is often spread through contaminated clothing and bedding.

The Ebola virus, which has infected nearly 6,000 people in Africa, is spreading so fast it could afflict 1.4 million people by January, according to a report issued last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ebola 4Seventy percent of people who contract Ebola die of it, according to the World Health Organization.

The United States has spent nearly $100 million combating Ebola in Africa and President Obama has pledged greater support from the U.S. military, to include nearly 3,000 personnel, and potentially hundreds of millions of defense dollars. The CDC report estimates that the epidemic can be contained if 70 percent of patients are placed in an Ebola treatment facility, or a community facility with controls in place.

Callaghan now returns to his current post in Costa Rica as USAID’s Latin America and Caribbean Senior Regional Advisor at the Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), the lead federal office responsible for coordinating the U.S. Government’s response to international disasters.