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Israel joins international efforts to fight Ebola as Israeli company announces it can produce drugs quickly (video)

By Mason White 5:26 PM September 7, 2014
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By: Anav Silverman
Israel has joined international efforts to fight the latest outbreak of the devastating Ebola disease, the Tazpit News Agency reported.

The Ebola outbreak is currently affecting five West African nations including Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and Senegal.

The Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs through Israel’s Agency for International Development Cooperation (MASHAV) along with the Ministry of Health’s Public Health Directorate, announced that it would be joining international efforts to prevent Ebola from spreading in African nations not yet affected.

Two Israeli doctors, Dr. Roee Singer from the Ministry of Health and Dr. Pnina Shitrit, a senior physician at Meir Hospital’s infectious diseases department, are departing for Cameroon, for a week-long professional program on preventing infectious diseases.

The Israeli doctors will share methods with the local Ministry of Health professional teams and medical staff to prevent infection by the Ebola virus and other infectious diseases.

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Israel is sharing its knowledge in the fields of public health in coordination with the World Health Organization’s efforts to stop the Ebola Virus.

Ebola is regarded as one of the world’s deadliest diseases, killing about 50 percent of those infected. More than 660 people have died in West Africa and 1,100 people were infected during the recent Ebola outbreak.

Meanwhile, Protalix, an Israeli biopharmaceutical company located near Carmiel, said on Saturday that it has the resources to produce the experimental Ebola vaccine ZMapp.

“Our production capacity is greater than our needs, and we will be delighted to have the company that produces Ebola drugs have us produce for them. We know how to do it effectively, in large quantities and in a relatively short period of time,” Dr. Yossi Shaaltiel of Protalix said.

Shaaltiel said the company is more competent in genetic engineering of tobacco from which the drug is extracted, than any other plant in the world.

The company’s facilities are more advanced and better equipped than the greenhouses in the United States, where ZMapp is currently produced.