Israel, Gaza Cooperate to Stop Spread of Swine Flu

May 6, 2009 Updated: October 1, 2015

An Israeli nurse at the Tel Aviv Medical Centre prepares to enter the isolated room of a man diagnosed with swine flu in Tel Aviv. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)
An Israeli nurse at the Tel Aviv Medical Centre prepares to enter the isolated room of a man diagnosed with swine flu in Tel Aviv. (Jonathan Nackstrand/AFP/Getty Images)
ISRAEL—As epidemics are no longer confined to local areas due to the massive amount of people using quick transportation means to get to far places, world cooperation is needed in order to prevent pandemic, explains an Israeli expert.

In Israel, six people have been diagnosed with the swine flu virus. The fear of spread of the swine flu has led to cooperation between Israel and its neighbors, including Gaza. Representatives from Gaza have joined a meeting in Israel in which means of preparation for potential spread of the virus were discussed.

Israel has decided to ship 75 thousand animal immunization portions to Gaza in order to prevent spread of diseases and to protect animals in Gaza and Israel.

“Today, viruses are constantly going through mutations and transformations,” explained Dr. Alex Leventhal, director of the Department of International Relations in the Israeli Ministry of Health, in an interview with The Epoch Times.

“New factors are constantly appearing in the world, like people's ability to move quickly from place to place in the world by airplanes, thus enabling diseases to spread from place to place. The world's countries have understood that they have to cooperate in order to minimize damages,” he added.

Dr. Leventhal explained that the spread of SARS in 2003 helped the creation of international regulations to prevent pandemics. Transparency is one of the factors needed to facilitate global cooperation. Israel has invited representatives from neighboring countries to inform them about the situation in Israel and discuss ways of cooperation

Dr. Leventhal has explained that the new swine flu virus probably first appeared in East Asia, in places where people and animals live together. He explained that a combination of poultry viruses with swine viruses have transferred to humans, mutated, and thus formed a new type of virus.

He says that, ironically, this combination was named 'Swine Flu', although the swine virus comprises only about a third of the new virus. “This is scientifically incorrect. A misleading name could be a stigma and cause incorrect decisions,” he said, and gave as an example the Egyptian decision to destroy its swine farms.