Infectious Diseases

Updated 08 August 2014

Ebola "vaccine" goes viral in Nigeria

Nigerian social media is abuzz with claims that a combination of hot water and salt can vaccinate a person against Ebola

Facebook posts, tweets, text messages and even phone calls proclaiming that a vaccine for Ebola had been discovered swept across Nigeria yesterday, prompting even more panic over a disease which has so far claimed two lives in the country.

According to these messages, a bath of hot water with some salt is all that is needed to immunise someone from Ebola. After bathing, one should also drink some of the water from the bath.

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One message broadcasted over BBM read thus: “We are asked to put some salt into hot water, drink little out of the water and use the one to bath, bcos of the Ebola disease

Certain messages have also claimed that the solution can also cure Ebola in those who already have the disease. There are currently 5 confirmed cases of Ebola in Lagos, with a high chance of those numbers rising. 

There is, of course, no truth to these claims and this is what has prompted a furious backlash over social media. 

At the time of publishing, the disease has killed a total of 932 people in West Africa. Most of these deaths have occured in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. One man has also died in Saudi Arabia. 

Read more: 
SA healthworkers on the lookout for Ebola
hLiberian healthcare system collapsing under Ebola
Signs and symptoms of Ebola

Sources: NYT/Today/Pulse


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