Tags: Ebola | virus | treatment | fluids | gallon

Best Way to Beat Ebola: Drink a Gallon of Fluids a Day

Monday, 17 Nov 2014 12:33 PM


The best medical advice for surviving Ebola right now might fit in one word: drink.
With targeted drugs and vaccines at least months away, doctors and public health experts are learning from Ebola survivors what simple steps helped them beat the infection. Turns out drinking 4 liters (1 gallon) or more of rehydration solution a day -- a challenge for anyone and especially those wracked by relentless bouts of vomiting -- is crucial.
 “When people are infected, they get dry as a crisp really quickly,” said Simon Mardel, an emergency room doctor advising the World Health Organization on Ebola in Sierra Leone. “Then the tragedy is that they don’t want to drink.”
Aggressive fluid replacement was deemed critical in saving two American health-care workers with Ebola at the Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, according to a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine last week. Interviews Mardel and WHO colleagues conducted with six of the dozen patients who survived Ebola in Nigeria, where the fatality ratio was much lower, also point to the importance of drinking. Ada Igonoh, a doctor who caught Ebola in late July while working at the First Consultants Hospital in Lagos, said she took oral rehydration salts, or ORS, mixed in water as soon her gastrointestinal symptoms started -- even before her Ebola diagnosis. Once hospitalized, she trawled the Internet on her iPad for insights from survivors.
“I knew that in diarrheal diseases, shock from dehydration is the number one cause of death,” Igonoh said in an e-mail. “From my research on Ebola while in isolation, I found that to be true.”

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The best medical advice for surviving Ebola right now might fit in one word: drink. With targeted drugs and vaccines at least months away, doctors and public health experts are learning from Ebola survivors what simple steps helped them beat the infection. Turns out...
Ebola, virus, treatment, fluids, gallon
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2014-33-17
Monday, 17 Nov 2014 12:33 PM
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