Five remaining patients in United States have been declared Ebola free. The cases sparked panic about the spread of the deadly virus on US soil, but Obama said the situation at home had improved. "A number of things make us cautiously more optimistic about the situation here in United States," Obama said,speaking after a White House meeting on US Ebola response.

About 50 people who came in contact with the Liberian man who died of Ebola, Thomas Eric Duncan, were released from quarantine this week, easing fears about the possible further spread of the disease. "We now have seen dozens of persons who had initial interactions with Duncan, including his family and friends,who have now been cleared and we are confident that they do not have Ebola," Obama said, noting how hard the virus is to contain.

"It just gives people one more sense of how difficult it is to get this disease," he added, speaking after the meeting attended by Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Burwell and the US Ebola Response Coordinator Ron Klain. Obama applauded the international community for stepping up the response to battle the deadly disease in West Africa,and said there has been "some very modest signs of progress"in hardest-hit Liberia.

More than 4,800 people have died from Ebola – the deadliest ever outbreak of the disease - most in Liberia,Guinea, and Sierra Leone.The United Nations has called on countries to do more to fight Ebola in the face of major funding shortfalls and a rising death toll.

Washington has said it plans to send a force of 3,200 troops to Liberia and Senegal to provide logistical and engineering support to stem the epidemic. There are now more than 500 active duty troops in Liberia and Senegal for the mission. Ebola is transmitted through close contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person or the body of someone who has died from the disease.

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