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Doctors: Rehydration key in ridding Nigeria of Ebola

2 years 1 month 2 weeks ago October 20, 2014 Oct 20, 2014 Monday, October 20 2014 October 20, 2014 3:30 PM in Health
Source: Associated Press

ABUJA, Nigeria - Doctors who survived Ebola in Nigeria are crediting heavy doses of fluids with saving their lives.

The World Health Organization today declared Nigeria to be free of Ebola -- a rare victory against the disease that is ravaging West Africa.

The disease had come to Nigeria's biggest city, Lagos, through an airline passenger who had carried Ebola from Liberia. But health workers quickly tracked the progress of everyone who had come in contact with the disease. In the end, Africa's most populous country had just 20 Ebola cases, including eight deaths.

Officials say the success is due to strong tracking and isolation of people exposed to the virus -- along with aggressive rehydration of infected patients to counter the effects of vomiting, diarrhea and other symptoms.

One doctor who survived with Ebola says the treatment wasn't easy to take. It involved drinking at least 1.3 gallons of a solution of water laced with salt and sugar every day for five or six days -- even when she had mouth sores and a sore throat.

One expert says rehydration is a low-tech approach that has been neglected by a medical system focused on groundbreaking research.

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