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Can Ebola be stopped where it already has a grip on a town? About a half square kilometer of sand called West Point will soon demonstrate to the world if seventy thousand people crowded together with few amenities can beat Ebola. There is a poster campaign and plenty of word-of-mouth communication. The living conditions at West Point are poor for people, but they are ideal for Ebola.
For scale – there is a 10 meter yellow line to the right of the red roof in the lower right corner. There is a truck on the road at the bottom of the road, and a car at the top of it. Notice that there are no spaces between these homes because the roofs overlap.
From a sign posted in West Point:
1. Thou shalt not HIDE ANY SICK person even family member or friend;
2. Thou shalt not SHAKE HAND or TOUCH someone with high fever who is very sick;
3. Thou shalt not TOUCH DEAD BODY even if it is your family member or friend who has died;
4. Thou shalt not PUT MAT DOWN for dead people not even your family member;
5. Thou shalt not EAT or DRINK from the same pan, place or cup with any family member, friend or anybody;
6. Thou shalt not allow anybody even family friend to spend time;
7. Thou shalt not HAVE SEX with strangers; be very careful of the person you have sex with, they could have the EBOLA virus — No sleeping around; Stick with the person you know very well;
8. Thou shalt not PEE PEE OUTSIDE, use a plastic bottle and wash your hands;
9. Thou shalt not TOILET OUTSIDE; use a plastic bag and wash your hands;
10. Thou shalt call this TELEPHONE NUMBER 4455 for Response Center #1 right away when you have a sick person or a dead body in your house.
What bothers me is that there is no mention of how to survive Ebola. The primary way a person not in a hospital can help themselves is to stay hydrated. Unfortunately, just drinking pure water doesn’t work because with severe diarrhea it goes right through. When a person has diarrhea they need to put 1 level teaspoon of salt and 8 level teaspoons of sugar into a liter of water. That water will stay in your system better.
Until a vaccine is available – the only effective control of Ebola is the physical separation of the virus from people.
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