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Title: Blog by Novelist William S. Frankl, MD

The Ebola Epidemic

The really most frightening news of the summer involves the terrible Ebola epidemic that has taken more than 1500 lives and is spreading quickly across Africa and potentially the entire planet. Modern medical procedures and programs are essential in combating this plague. But there is another, less “high tech” effort that might play an important role in stemming the tide.

The lack of shoes in  Sierra Leone and Liberia could be contributing to the spread of the Ebola virus”

In the bush there is no running water or flushing toilets.In the jungle, shoes are the exception and even if owned are rarely worn. That’s why most people in the bush have infected toes, a sure way to contract Ebola.

When these people walk barefoot, the parasites, bacteria and viruses left behind from animal waste or human urine, enter thorough the micro-lacerations in their feet. They multiply with a vengeance, especially in the children. The worry used to be bilharzia or filaria or hook worm, but now the worry has turned deadly – Ebola.

Perhaps the shipment of thousands of pairs of shoes might be just as important as medicines, IV solutions, sterile gloves and surgical masks in combating this awful epidemic.

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