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The LDS Church is pulling its missionaries out of Sierra Leone and Liberia as a precaution against the deadly Ebola virus, which has already killed hundreds of people in West Africa.

Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in those countries are being "reassigned to other missions," the Utah-based faith said in a news release Friday.

"In recent weeks measures have been taken to reduce risk to missionaries, including asking them to remain in their apartments," the release said.

"To date, there are no reports of illness among the missionaries."

According to the church's website, there is one mission in Sierra Leone and one in Liberia. Few of the missionaries are likely to be from North America. Typically, most West African missions are staffed with volunteers from within the country or other nearby African nations.

Meanwhile, families of missionaries who are being transferred will be contacted, the release said, "as the missionaries arrive in their new assignments."

Peggy Fletcher Stack