The outbreak has hit Guinea and several other West African countries the hardest.

The outbreak has hit Guinea and several other West African countries the hardest. Flickr user European Commission DG ECHO

U.S. Sending 3,000 Troops to Help Fight Ebola

Effort could cost as much as $750 million over the next six months.

Up to 3,000 U.S. military personnel will be dispatched to West Africa to help battle the raging Ebola crisis.

President Obama is expected to make the announcement Tuesday as part of a seriously ramped-up plan to combat the Ebola outbreak that has hit Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea the hardest, with cases in Nigeria and Senegal as well.

The international response to Ebola has been slow-moving and disorganized to this point, drawing heavy criticism from aid organizations who have been sending warnings about the rapidly escalating outbreak for months.

More than 2,400 people have died of the virus, out of 4,784 reported cases, according to the most recent estimate from the World Health Organization. The actual numbers are thought to be far higher, and WHO has said the total could rise to 20,000 in the coming months if the outbreak isn't brought under control. Other groups have put the potential number of future cases as high as 250,000.

WHO has estimated that at least $600 million and thousands of health care workers will be needed to get the epidemic in West Africa under control within six to nine months.

Obama's announcement Tuesday is an attempt to take the reins in combating the outbreak. The effort, including the influx of personnel to provide medical and logistical support, could cost as much as $750 million over the next six months, senior administration officials said.

Other measures in the president's plan include establishing 17 health care facilities with 100 beds each in the region, training up to 500 health care workers per week, giving home health kits to hundreds of thousands of households, teaching communities how to deal with exposed individuals, and setting up a command in Monrovia, Liberia, to coordinate U.S. and international response efforts.

The president will be at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday to be briefed on the latest developments and show support for the organization's staff.

(Image via Flickr user European Commission DG ECHO)