Nations in Americas join in battle against Ebola

HAVANA (AP) _ Representatives of countries from around the Americas, including the United States, have agreed to work together in their response to Ebola, adopting similar procedures in such things as the establishment of epidemiological monitoring centers and coordinating the transport of biological samples.

About 200 epidemiology experts and health officials from 24 countries, including the United States and Canada, met in Havana on Wednesday and Thursday to discuss their response to the epidemic.

A document from the meeting lays out lines of action’’ that the countries say they’ll follow to combat the disease.

The meeting was called by ALBA, a forum of left-leaning Latin countries founded by Cuba and Venezuela as a counterweight to U.S. influence. The meeting is part of Cuba’s anti-Ebola effort that includes sending at least 256 doctors and nurses to West Africa this month.

Among those attending was meeting was Nelson Arboleda, the Guatemala-based director of the Central American Regional Office for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC said earlier this week that it had contacted the State Department about U.S. representation at the meeting and dispatched Arboleda, who oversees a team of 25 people and usually represents the CDC in activities in the region.

The U.S. maintains a trade embargo on Cuba and the two countries do not have full diplomatic relations, but they have quietly cooperated for years on subjects like public health, immigration and environmental protection.

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