Medicine: Hope in Potassium

Acute diarrhea, the most dreaded epidemic disease of newborn babies, kills thousands every year.* Doctors do not know its cause or cure. But last week a doctor described a treatment (already proved quite successful) that may save many a young life.

Diarrhea (sometimes called "summer complaint") kills because it drains the baby's body of water and salts. Doctors have tried to prevent dehydration by feeding the victims large amounts of saline fluids, but this treatment did not help much. Something was needed—some substance that made it possible for babies to retain the fluids. After...

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