- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 27, 2015

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - A Columbus-based Ohio National Guard unit won’t have to go to West Africa as previously planned to help control the Ebola outbreak in the region.

Guard officials said Monday that the 16th Engineer Brigade had been assigned as part of the U.S. government’s mission to support civilian-led humanitarian efforts dealing with the outbreak of the virus.

But because of the successful efforts of civilian entities in West Africa over the past few months, some National Guard units initially considered for deployment last November will not have to go.

In all, Ebola has sickened more than 21,000 people, the vast majority in West Africa, killing more than 8,600. But health officials say the tide is turning.

The Defense Department is now backing more than 10,000 civilian responders.

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