Two Americans infected with the Ebola virus seem to be improving after they were treated with an experimental serum produced from tobacco.
The serum is known as zMapp. It is developed from proteins inside tobacco plants. Mapp Biopharmaceutical, a California company, developed the anti-Ebola drug.
The company has reported promising results after testing the drug on Ebola-infected monkeys. But U.S. health officials have not approved the use of the serum in humans.
The serum was given to Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol. The two Americans became infected with the disease while working in Liberia for a Christian aid group.
Officials say the health of Dr. Brantly appears to be improving. And Jeremy Writebol says his mother is also showing improvement.
Very little of the serum is available at this time. It is unlikely that the drug will be of immediate help in the current Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
U.S. General Killed in Afghanistan
A man wearing an Afghan army uniform has shot and killed U.S. General Harold Green at a training camp for Afghan National Army officers in Kabul. A number of other people were wounded.
The Pentagon says the person who shot the general was a member of the Afghan security forces. The gunman was also killed.
A 72-hour Cease-fire in Gaza
Israel and Hamas agreed early Tuesday to a 72-hour cease-fire in the Gaza Strip.
Later Tuesday, an Israeli army spokesman said Israel had withdrawn troops from Gaza. He said the troops remained in defensive positions outside the territory.
Gaza residents say they hope the truce is long-lasting, but fear it will end too quickly.
Russia Sends More Troops to Ukraine Border
A spokesman for Ukraine's National Security and Defense Council says Russia has deployed 45,000 troops to the border. He said the Russian deployment includes tanks, artillery, rocket launchers and aircraft.
Both NATO and U.S. military officials have confirmed the information.
Words in the News
experiment – v. to test; n. a test or trial carried out to prove if an idea is true or false, or to discover something
serum – n. the watery part of a fluid found in a plant; the part of blood that is like water and that contains substances that fight disease
proteins – n. substances responsible for the growth of tissue and for fixing damaged tissue
infect – v. to make sick with something that causes disease
deploy – v. to move forces or weapons into positions for action
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