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[Comment] 50 years of oral rehydration therapy: the solution is still simple

50 years ago, the first study showing that an oral solution of glucose and electrolytes was effective for replacing water and electrolyte losses in cholera was published in The Lancet.1 The 4·6 million annual deaths from diarrhoea in children younger than 5 years estimated in 19802 has fallen to under 500 000 in 2018,3 despite a 70% increase in the world’s population. Although several factors contributed to this reduction, as of 2007 it was estimated that oral rehydration therapy (ORT) alone had prevented 54 million diarrhoeal deaths.

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