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White House says Ebola outbreak won't alter U.S.-Africa summit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An outbreak of the Ebola virus in Africa will not change a summit in Washington next week that about 50 African leaders are expected to attend, a White House spokesman said on Wednesday.

The White House continues to monitor the deadly outbreak of the highly contagious virus and President Barack Obama was briefed about developments by his homeland security adviser, Lisa Monaco, on Tuesday, White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters.

“The CDC (U.S. Centers for Disease Control) has said this is not a risk to the United States at this time,” Schultz told reporters traveling with the president back to Washington from Kansas City, Missouri.

The Ebola outbreak is the worst ever on record of the deadly virus, according to the World Health Association. The virus has killed 672 people in West Africa since February.

Schultz said the U.S. government has scaled up its assistance to countries during the crisis,

But the outbreak will not alter the leaders’ summit, Schultz said. The White House has said the meeting will be the largest event that any U.S. president has held with African heads of state; it is aimed at strengthening trade and investment between the United States and the African continent.

“We have no plans to change any elements of the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit as we believe all air travel continues to be safe,” Schultz said.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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