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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.

West Point - Monrovia, Liberia

Downtown Monrovia, Liberia, at the bottom and West Point peninsula at the top. 1km yellow line

West Point, Monrovia compaction

West Point, Monrovia, showing the single road going the length of the peninsula. Seventy thousand people live here.

Vertical close up view of West Point

Central West Point has one road and very narrow passages between tiny homes. Center is at lat/lon 6.3274 -10.8060

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:

 THE 10 COMMANDMENTS OF EBOLA

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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