Saturday, April 25, 2009

Influenza Then and Now

Recent headlines have captured the fear of an Influenza epidemic (aka Swine Flu). There is even talk of a worldwide pandemic. The truth of the matter is not really known at this point and the statistics are changing by the hour. There is reason for concern, but we have some solace in knowing that homeopathy has dealt with this type of issue before.

In 1918 there was a pandemic flu called the Spanish Flu. It killed millions of people and wreaked havoc in the medical community. To some extent this flu outbreak was not well documented from the homeopathic point of view. Remember in the early 1900s there were many homeopathic hospitals and doctors (approximately 2000 homeopathic hospitals located in most major cities). While allopathic doctors treated the flu during this outbreak with aspirin, homeopathic doctors treated it with commonly found homeopathic remedies.

A snippet of an article about that time…

"The influenza pandemic of 1918-1919 killed more people than the Great War, known today as World War I (WWI), at somewhere between 20 and 40 million people. It has been cited as the most devastating epidemic in recorded world history. More people died of influenza in a single year than in four-years of the Black Death Bubonic Plague from 1347 to 1351. Known as "Spanish Flu" or "La Grippe" the influenza of 1918-1919 was a global disaster. Influenza constitutes the most widespread and significant respiratory infectious disease in the world, resulting in increased morbidity, mortality and economic loss each epidemic year. Pandemic influenza is a worldwide epidemic usually caused by a new virus variant to which the majority of the population has no immunity.

The Journal of the American Institute for Homeopathy, May 1921, had a long article about the use of homeopathy in the flu epidemic. Dr. T A McCann, from Dayton, Ohio reported that 24,000 cases of flu treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2% while 26,000 cases of flu treated homeopathically had a mortality rate of 1.05%. This last figure was supported by Dean W.A. Pearson of Philadelphia (Hahnemann College) who collected 26,795 cases of flu treated with homeopathy with the above result."**

The rate of mortality is the rate of deaths. Taking the above statistics, allopathic treatment had approximately 6700 deaths per 24,000 patients and homeopathic treatment had approximately 270 deaths per 26,000 patients.

From the above description, homeopathy provided a much better solution to the Spanish Flu outbreak than did allopathic treatment. This is probably because homeopathy is better able to provide a solution to individual sets of symptoms in illness than allopathy no matter what the variation of these symptoms (there is a remedy that applies to any variation of symptoms). Another possibility is that homeopathy needs no name or cause or how the disease is spread to provide a solution that will cure any ailment. In this way, homeopathy can be used in any illness whether it be a known disease or not. To date, allopathy has never cured a viral infection (influenza is a virus as is HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, etc).

The symptoms of swine flu are expected to be similar to the symptoms of regular seasonal influenza and include fever, lethargy, lack of appetite and coughing. Some people with swine flu also have reported runny nose, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Taking the above symptoms (albeit a superficial list), the following homeopathic remedies would fit these symptoms (educated guess)…
Nux-v (Nux Vomica)
Aco (Aconite)
Sul (Sulphur)
Bry (Bryonia)
Ars (Arsenicum)
China (Cinchona Officinalis)
Among other possible remedies.

The above list will be edited when more information (symptoms) become apparent and/or homeopathic therapy is applied and a determination can be made as to the most effective remedies.

A more comprehensive list of homeopathic remedies (with specific symptoms) commonly used to treat various types of flu can be found (here).

The mortality rate in Mexico is holding steady at 6% (according to limited stats and the total amount infected is probably seriously under-reported- which will eventually bring this mortality rate down to logical levels as reports are more accurate). Being at one of the ground zero locations (San Antonio) in the USA hasn't helped in accumulating much further information. Schools and government agencies are closed for the week in this local area. The number of probable infected cases is slightly larger in this area than is reported on the national news but is not high by any means. No particular homeopathic emergency centers are reporting any further information to my knowledge.

For those keeping a symptom "score"... This particular flu comes on relatively quick and in some instances presents considerable vomiting. In Homeopathy, there will almost definitely be two to three potential remedies depending on individual symptoms. This is normal in almost every epidemic that homeopathy has been successfully used.

There is some evidence that the current illness is at least borne out in two phases. The first is general cold type symptoms and the second is gastro-intestinal symptoms with upper respiratory congestion. Tentatively… It is likely that EUP-PER would be a preemptive remedy and ARS for secondary illness.

As of 4/30/09 mortality rates (and resulting stats) are dropping fast (probably less than .1% at this point). Unless WHO/CDC is keeping something back, this epidemic is looking like more bark than bite. Resulting flu strains generated from this one could be the consideration to a Phase 5 Alert from WHO.

If in doubt as to the correct treatment and/or severe illness is experienced, seek emergency care immediately.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the information. I will make sure to stock up my arsenal.