- Associated Press - Wednesday, October 15, 2014

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) - Australia’s prime minister is resisting pressure to send doctors and nurses to West Africa to fight the Ebola crisis, saying his government is focused on preparing for a potential outbreak of the deadly disease in the Asia-Pacific region.

A petition by 113 Australian health professors sent to Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Wednesday calls on him to send a medical team as well as troops to battle the disease that has killed almost 4,500 people in West Africa this year.

Senior opposition lawmakers backed the call in letter to key government ministers on Thursday.

Abbott said Thursday that while the government had given 18 million Australian dollars (US$16 million) toward the international response, his government is focused on being prepared for an outbreak in Australia and the wider region.

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