Homoeopathic Approaches in Acute Respiratory Epidemics
Epidemics are a scourge for mankind which impose a considerable burden on the health, economy and socio-political state of a country. The first documented epidemic dates back to 430BC when small pox killed around 30,000 people in Greece. In 1830, the Asiatic cholera epidemic broke out killing many, followed by yellow fever in 1850 and diphtheria in 1862. The infamous influenza pandemic of 1918 to 1920 is estimated to have taken a toll of 20 to 40 million people. The onset was so sudden and the deaths so violent that the infected coughed up blood and died of sudden unexplained pneumonia. It was one of the worst pandemics experienced by humans in the recorded history closer to our present time and the most recent one is coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, which has turned human life health, economy and society topsy turvy.
In recent years, specialists have focused on possible epidemics related to the new flu virus variants like bird flu and swine flu and now on COVID-19 owing to the fact that upper respiratory infections are the most widespread diseases in both developing and developed countries that pose a serious public health challenge. The factors that determine the dynamics of acute respiratory disease (ARD) morbidity are the variability of viruses, probability of airborne transmission in crowded places and nonavailability of vaccine for whole spectrum of respiratory viruses.
One of the most important challenges of public health is to control these outbreaks which spread rapidly and widely affecting many individuals, in a population at the same time. At the global level, scientific communities including various healthcare professionals are working continuously to understand virological, epidemiological and clinical aspect of COVID-19 to identify effective drugs and vaccines. But difficulty in developing and disseminating immunisations, viral mutations and growing problem of antimicrobial resistance are undermining these approaches. This is a time when professional agencies from all potentially relevant disciplines need to work in a concerted way including those working in and outside the fields of virology and infectious diseases. The flu epidemic controls should not be limited to immunisation against certain strains of flu virus but should be aimed to reduce the total infective load related to respiratory infections.
Homoeopathy has been very effective in many epidemics including the Spanish flu epidemic of 20th century with a distinctly low mortality rate. Homoeopaths have been successful in treating COVID cases in the current pandemic also. In this issue, we present ‘Ozonum-The Global Impact’ by Dr Petr. Simeon Gajdos who has used the remedy to treat COVID-19 in his own practice with the keyword ‘I can’t breathe'. He discusses the ozone cycle in nature, and the potential benefits of the remedy Ozonum which has a long history in homoeopathic practice. He also describes the applications of Ozonum in a wide range of conditions such as pandemics, mass causalities and disasters resonating with climatic medical, socio-political and economic global challenges.
Dr Ashish Kumar Dixit, Dr Shishir Kumar Singh and Dr Subhas Singh attempt to review the efficacy of homoeopathy in managing respiratory infections in their narrative review. They suggest that the treatment of COVID-19 is symptomatic and only emergencies require hospitalisation. The homoeopathic medicine whose foundation is based on symptomatic treatment can play a vital role in combating this pandemic. Administration of homoeopathy as an adjunctive treatment in COVID-19 cases can be a cost-effective, feasible and safe approach.
Dr A. Mukherjee, Dr N. Sinha, Dr J.K. Dey and Dr A.B. Jadav consider how to measure the effectiveness of high potency homoeopathic medicines in treating influenza-like-illnesses (ILI). They examine a total of seven studies with mean score of 3.71 on the Jadad scale for reporting randomised clinical trials. (Which has a maximum rating of 5.) The authors concluded that homoeopathy has significant role in faster recovery of ILI symptoms in comparison to placebo groups. They recommended that more clinical trials with standard methodology should be conducted in this regard.
Dr Abhijit Dutta suggests that homoeopathy may be considered for prevention and treatment of mild and moderate cases of COVID-19 as primary or as add-on to the standard therapy.
Dr Kanupriya examines the role telemedicine can play in the COVID-19 epidemic. She notes that it is used already for many modalities in many countries but has many potential benefits such as cutting down waiting time in hospitals, easy availability and cost-effectiveness.
For a homoepath successfully treated cases are the most abundant source of homoeopathic information. In this issue, we present a case report on homoeopathic management of severe haemophilia type A with inhibitor response, and a case series with data of twenty cases of otitis media, treated successfully with homoeopathy.
An open, single arm, noncomparative study on acne and a comparative study in vivo and in vitro on efficacy of homoeopathic medicine in Aquarium Zebrafish infected with Vibrio parahaemolyticus also find a place in this issue. The review of the book “Matridonal Remedies in Daily Practice by Dr. med. Heinz Wittwer” is also presented for readers.
Roland Sananes was a renowned French homoeopath who founded ‘the French college of Human Sciences’ and passed his experience to public and fraternity through 20 books authored by him. We pay a rich tribute this great teacher who taught the characteristic signs of remedies in a theatrical way by highlighting the ‘substance’ of the remedy.
Wishing all Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2021 !!
31 December 2020 (online)
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- 1 Romanyukha AA, Sannikova TE, Drynov ID. The origin of acute respiratory epidemics. Herald Russ Acad Sci 2011; 81 (01) 31-34