The deaths of at least over 400 lives and the quarantining of about 560,000 Liberians in five counties have cause a desperation to cure deadly Ebola virus in the country. This has resulted in a rush to acquire ‘salt and seawater’ due to the rumor on the social internet, that saltwater cures Ebola.
Over the weekend, according to reports from a Team of Daily Observer Reporters, the news of saltwater made some 150,000 people to rush to buy the commodity, especially from Central Monrovia, Bushrod Island, West Point, Gardnersville and Paynesville.
The Daily Observer’s reporting team gathered that Liberians and non-Liberians who reside in the mentioned communities which are close to the Atlantic Ocean, are bathing and applying sea water and drying the water to salt while other land-locked communities are in demand for salt.
The demand for salt has a sack of bag which was cost L$10.00 was sold for L$100 up to Sunday night.
The alarming ‘saltwater’ seekers can likely be compared to the California Gold in the 1800s.
But the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare has emphatically, scientifically and resolutely dismissed the rumor of saltwater serving as cure the deadly Ebola virus.
The Deputy Medical Officer of the Republic of Liberia, Tolbert Nyensuah said that, according to the scientific research on the control and prevention of the disease, ‘saltwater’ could not be and is not a remedy the deadly Ebola virus.
The Assistant Minister for Prevention made the disclosure last Saturday, August 09, 2014, on a local radio show in Monrovia during the heat of the ‘saltwater rush.’
Minister Nyensuah indicated that his reaction stemmed from several calls on what he termed as “a prank” that provoked the massive rush on salt buying on the Liberian market.
Meanwhile, some health and medical practitioners who also condemned the medication of salt and water to cure the deadly Ebola virus have pointed out several health risks.
“Too much salt in the diet, which is marked by high sodium content, can deeply impact almost all biochemical pathways in the body,” Dr. Jota said. “Human dietary intake should not exceed 2,000 milligrams per day.
Dr. Jota added: “The number one medical consequence of high salt is hypertension. High intake of salt causes water retention and promotes abnormal influx of water molecules in the blood vessel, and this instantaneously increases blood volume and blood pressure.”
“Sudden rises of blood pressure can trigger life threatening cardiovascular emergencies like strokes and heart attacks,” Dr Jota warned.
However, the lady who suggested the saltwater ebola cure rumor, Adesewa, has apologized and said it started as a joke but has escalated into an unprecedented salt buying rush.
“I decided to send a BBM broadcast message to my friends, telling them that the Ministry of Health has asked everyone to bathe with salt and warm water and to drink some of it,” Adesewa said. “I am using this medium to beg you all to warn and tell everyone, before they damage their health.”
Since July, this is the fourth unorthodoxed treatment for the deadly Ebola virus which has been sprung upon Liberians because of their desperate search for a remedy against the deadly virus.
It was purported that lemon (lime) could cure ebola; then came palm kernel oil and later weed.
However, amidst the search for the Ebola cure, scientists in Canada announced the successful treatment of Ebola viral infection in monkeys.
The scientists had identified a number of antibodies that corresponded to proteins on the shell of the Ebola virus. They combined the antibodies into a specific cocktail and administered it to four macaques within 24 hours of infections.