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CDC: Risk Of Ebola Spreading To US Is Remote

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A picture taken on July 24, 2014 shows staff of the Christian charity Samaritan's Purse putting on protective gear in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia. (credit: ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images)

A picture taken on July 24, 2014 shows staff of the Christian charity Samaritan’s Purse putting on protective gear in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia. (credit: ZOOM DOSSO/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBS Atlanta/AP) — U.S. health officials are monitoring the Ebola outbreak in Africa but say the risk of the deadly germ spreading to the United States is remote.

The Centers for Disease Control on Monday sent a health alert to U.S. doctors about the outbreak. There are no travel restrictions to the West Africa region hit by the disease. But last month, the CDC issued a mid-level travel advisory for health workers.

Stephan Monroe of the CDC said Monday that “Ebola poses little risk to the general U.S. population.”

Two American aid workers in Liberia have tested positive for the virus and are being treated there. The family of one worker — a doctor — recently returned to the U.S. for a visit. The CDC said they are fine.

Officials stressed people are not contagious until they show symptoms, and the doctor’s family left Liberia days before he got sick.

Dr. Tom Geisbert, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch, tells CBS News that this Ebola outbreak is different than any other historically.

“(This outbreak) is very difficult to contain because it keeps popping up in different places,” Geisbert explained to CBS News. “The other thing that concerns us is the number of health care workers that are being infected … doctors or nurses. This is just crazy with the number of medical personnel getting infected.”

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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