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[Check EBOLA UPDATES] It has been reported that when hospitals are overwhelmed they send away potential patients. In medical use they call it triage; that is, they assign degrees of urgency to wounds or illnesses to decide the order of treatment when faced with a large number of patients or casualties. The sickest patients are given beds and they are the ones most likely to die. At present triage in East Africa means sending a fevered person home with only a bar of soap, in hope they may get better on their own. The soap may help to prevent the spread of disease, but it won’t help the fevered person get well. If they have Ebola their chance of survival at home is poor, perhaps only twenty percent.

With Ebola diarrhea causes dehydration because the body can’t absorb water when there isn’t a balance of salt and sugar in the intestine. Water can pass from the intestine into the body best when the water has a balance of 1 level teaspoon of salt, to 8 level teaspoons of sugar, to 1 liter of water. Drinking that solution will help a person suffering from diarrhea survive. This isn’t a cure for Ebola, it is a way to survive dehydration while the body develops a response that clears Ebola from the body. If a person stays hydrated their chance of survival improves. Also, when the diarrhea is controlled they can keep food in their digestive system, and that will prevent loss of the other nutrients the body needs. In a Scientific American interview with the Ebola doctors in Texas they reported that potassium and proteins are abnormally low in Ebola victims. In a home setting this would be helped by eating good food, and keeping it inside. That may be difficult, but do what is possible. Also, prevent bleeding as much as possible, and in the home that may mean keeping a gentle pressure on the bleeding area.

A hospital compelled to send people home could give them an Ebola home treatment kit. It would consist of a plastic bag with a package of 250 grams of salt, a package of 2 kilograms of sugar, a 1 liter plastic bottle and an instruction sheet. Ideally it could also have 10 standard vitamin pills with zinc and a plastic measuring spoon. This formula is similar to Oral rehydration therapy (OTR) which is already available prepackaged for fluid replacement. The WHO formula on one package of NAVA Jeevan is sodium chloride 2.6, trisodium citrate 2.9, potassium chloride 1.5, glucose anhydrous 13.5.

The exact formulation isn’t critical because the intestines will choose what they need to transport the water, but it must be inside the person and not on a committee paper. One advantage of what is proposed here is that any person can go to any grocery store and purchase salt and sugar. Most people will already have these common substances in their home; it is just a matter of mixing them and drinking enough to keep hydrated.

To find out what the East African public can see, I Googled Ebola Posters, and looked at almost a thousand images there, All the posters were on how to avoid catching Ebola, and not one word on how to treat Ebola. There should be handouts and posters showing how to treat Ebola victims. The formula for treating diarrhea should become common knowledge of everyone on Earth, even children. It is a treatment that is useful for many diseases. Drink as needed sugared, salted water, and keep eating nutritious food.

For diarrhea drink a quart of water with 1 teaspoon salt plus 8 teaspoons sugar.

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