Ebola Fighters – the Canadian Connection

Canadian Ebola Fighters

Ebola is one of the most dangerous pathogens in our modern world. This pathogen has no mercy and kills its victims in less then four days.

Up until 2014, there wasn’t any treatment or cure for EBOLA.

HOWEVER – during the West Africa Ebola outbreak in 2014, thousands of people were dying at an increasing rate ; doctors were racing against time. A select team of doctors and pathologists volunteered their expertise, heading to Africa to see if they could fight this deadly Pathogen.

On the sidelines, at the Public Health Agency of Canada’s National Microbiology Lab ( NML) in Winnipeg, Canadian Scientist, Dr. Gray Kobinger and Dr. Xiangguo Qiu were both working feverishly, trying every method they could to develop a vaccine.

They were getting close to developing a vaccine BUT no one believed it could be done. Dr. Gray Kobinger and Dr. Xiangguo Qiu perfected two of three antibodies and intertwined it with a third antibody from the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases. The antibody cocktail hadn’t finished it’s clinical tests, or had it ever been used on humans.

UNTIL fate of desperation forced their hand.

An American doctor, Dr. Kent Brantly , along with nurse Nancy Writebol , were both infected with the deadly virus. They became the very first human patients in history to be administered this new vaccine, all in an attempt to save their lives. Fortunately for everyone concerned, the experimental vaccine worked.

Both patients were in the advanced stage of the Ebola and would have certainly died if it weren’t for the discovery of Dr. Gary Kobinger new vaccine.

As Dr. Gary Kobinger said,” It was a very tense situation…” He pauses with a smile and continues,”It was…It was quite a moment.” His smile was due to the success of the antibodies reaction to the Ebola pathogen. The serum is called Z Mapp, a Biopharmaceutical drug composed of the three chimeric monoclonal antibodies.

Dr. Gary Kobinger and Dr. Xiangguo Qiu work is recognized internationally and last year received the prestigious Canadian Award, the Manning Innovation Award (It’s an award, where Canadians who have demonstrated recent innovative talent and successfully marketed their innovations*).

They’re now known worldwide as the Ebola Fighters – congratulations to our Canadian Science Team Dr. Gary Kobinger and Dr. Xiangguo Qiu – Our Canadian Hero’s 😎

By Bari Demers – screenwriter

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