Homeopathy Papers

Observations on the Mexican Flu 2009

Observations on the Mexican Flu 2009

Est. Luis Jamil Bonilla Galicia
Dr. Oscar Alberto Legaria García
Dr. Emmanuel Pérez Lorenzo
Dr. Fernando Darío Francois Flores

Translated by Katja Schütt and Alan Schmukler

Mexico D. F., May 2009

Introduction

This study is based on observations made during the influenza epidemic in Mexico in 1918, as well as those noticed due to the infection with the virus of the swine flu, also called the A(H1N1) influenza virus, during the month of April and May 2009 in Mexico City. Its object is to inform other homeopaths about the characteristic symptoms of the current epidemic and about the most indicated remedies for its homeopathic treatment and prevention.

This document is principally based on the thesis written by Dr. Manuel Mazari to obtain his qualification at the Escuela Libre de Homeopatía de México: “Short study of the last influenza epidemic in Mexico City (1918)”,as well as  reports published by the Ministry of  Health, news published in the media in general and some clinical cases mentioned by homeopathic physicians.  Mexico City has a population of about 23,000,000 inhabitants, so the number of approximately 2.000 disease cases is relatively small, and not all homeopaths have experienced treating one of these patients.

The symptoms are practically the same as in the epidemic at the beginning of the 20th century. Only two new symptoms could be confirmed: fear of death, and the appearance of high fever in the beginning of the disease. The time of the year is also the same, being the spring, even if the most difficult time for influenza in 1918 was the autumn.

The traditional medical literature mentions that this virus was the causative agent of the influenza epidemics in (1918 -1919), (1933-1935), (1946-1947), (1977-1978). Therefore this literature is the most reliable source we can rely on until now.

In this particular disease, as in the great majority of such diseases, early diagnosis, immediate professional attention and especially prevention and no self-medication, are basic and essential to avoid complications which can be fatal. We hope that the experience of these Mexican homeopaths will benefit other homeopaths around the whole world.

Influenza symptoms

Respiratory symptoms (slight)

1. Coryza spreading to the frontal sinuses

2. Anosmia

3. Loss of taste

4. Nasal mucosal congestion

5. Bronchitis, tracheitis, pharyngitis (with intense burning pain)

6. Spontaneous epistaxis

7. Frequent coughing

Respiratory symptoms (marked)

1. Respiratory anguish (dyspnoea) disproportionate to the physical symptoms

2. Intense coryza

3. Dry spasmodic cough

4. Abundant epistaxis

5. Hemoptysis

6. Catarrhal conjunctivitis

7. Retronasal catarrhal fluxion

8. Nummular expectoration

9. Congestion of the pulmonary vertex’s

Gastric symptoms

1. Abdominal distension

2. Anorexia  with intense thirst

3. Nausea

4. Indomitable vomiting (of food, mucous or bilious)

5. Pyrosis

6. Dry and furry tongue (bluish pale), opalescent tongue

7. Halitosis

8. Aphthous stomatitis

9. Dysphagia

10. Violet plaques in pharynx

11. Burning pain of the mucosa (pharynx, esophagus, epigastrium)

12. Meteorism, colics with cramping pain

13. Diarrheic, painful, bilious, fetid and debilitating evacuations (sometimes rectal tenesm)

14. Cold extremities

Mentals

1. Marked delirium at night

2. Melancholia

3. Sadness

4. Fear of death

Nervous symptoms

1. Cephalgias

2. Various neuralgias (eyes, ears and lumbar)

3. Trembling (occasionally, and especially in convulsive children)

4. Insomnia

5. Asthenia

6. Meningeal irritation (with meningeal phenomena, photophobia and startling)

7. Fainting fits and syncopes

8. Buzzing in one’s ears (tinnitus)

Generals

1. Rheumatic pains

2. Fever with shivering, between 39- 40, variable pulse (accompanied by diarrhea and vomiting)

3. Annoying headache (between nape and neck, with sensation of heaviness)

Generalized neuralgias

4. Neuralgias

a.      Intercostal neuralgia

b.     Supra-orbital neuralgia

5. Pain in the bones of the extremities (especially in the lower limbs)

6. Bruised feeling in the entire body, as if he had been beaten (changing from a rheumatic pain to the sensation of  broken bones)

7. Insomnia

8. Adynamia

9. Prostration (accompanied by high fever and severe dyspnoe)

10. Agitation, delirium and coma

EVOLUTION

1. Incubation time: some hours (vague pain)

2. Period of the first 24 hours of the disease (coryza, fever, asthenia, bronchitis, epistaxis, neuralgic and gastric pains)

3. Decline on the 4th day with defervescence and copious sweats (causing sleepiness in the patient)

4. Convalescence at least 2 weeks (anorexia, lassitude, general debility, especially the dry cough), special care is necessary to prevent colds (because of relapses)

DURATION

1. Slight 3-4 days

2. Moderate 7-8 days

3. Severe  2 weeks

4. Of the entire epidemic 3 months (without producing immunity)

DIAGNOSIS

1. Swollen face (congested)

2. Dyspnoe with anguish

3. Supra-orbital cephalgia

4. Anorexia with intense thirst

5. Coryza

6. Constant dry cough

7. Generalized pain (as from contusion)

a.      Lumbalgia

b.     Lower extremities

8. Progressive decline (from debility to prostration)

9. Sudden high fever with shivering

10. Epistaxis and generalized hemorrhages

RISK GROUPS

1. Immunocompromised patients

a.      organic lesions

b.     chronic conditions

2. Ages

a.      Children younger than 18 years

i.      Low risk

ii.      low prevalence

b.     adults 18 – 60 years

i.      medium risk

ii.      high  prevalence

c.     old people  + 61 years

i.      high risk

ii.      low prevalence

COMPLICATIONS OF THE EPIDEMIC

a.      bronchitis

b.     bronchopneumonia

c.     pneumonia

STATISTICS IN MEXICO:

CONFIRMED CASES as of  05/13/09:                                    2,446.

Deceased: as of 05/13/09:                                                  60

CONFIRMED CASES By age:

Years                    Total

0 – 9                      662

10 – 19                  633

20 – 29                  470

30 – 39                  272

40 – 49                  218

50 – 59                  137

60 – 69                  42

Not available                   12

DECEASED

By age:

Years                    Total

0 – 9                      5

10 – 19                  3

20 – 29                  20

30 – 39                  11

40 – 49                  9

50 – 59                  9

60 – 69                  3

Not available          0

Total                   60

* The number of deceased patients of all cases is 2.5 %. 56.5 % were women.

HYGIENIC MEASURES

1. Isolation of patients in rooms

a. hospitals

b. quarters

c. schools

d. prisons

2. To remain  indoors

3. Frequent cleaning of persons and rooms

4. Sanitary and quarantine cordons (hasn’t demonstrated effectiveness)

5. * General preventative measures for the population as given by the authorities of the Ministry of Health 2009

The current influenza epidemic A (H1N1) is a problem of public health which requires all possible measures because it is a threat for the health of all Mexicans. Their protection is their right as well as a social and political responsibility.

The State, the Mexican people and public and private institutions have to work very closely for the mutual goal, which is the return to our daily activities, while acting simultaneously for the preservation of health and life by means of preventative measures.

For this reason outlines were published regarding the prevention and control of the influenza A (H1N1). Specifics for each environment involve scenarios which favor  the dissemination of infections transmitted through the respiratory tract in case of this new virus.

These outlines will be extended and actualized according to the advance of  systematized knowledge. This knowledge will be summarized in one or several documents called  “Criterion”, which have to be taken as reference.

There are two fundamental outlines:

  • Social Distancing and
  • Improved Hygiene of the Environment

It stresses personal hygiene practices like:

  • Hand washing
  • Correct sneezing technique

Mechanisms for the procedure to access these environments were established

  • Supervision filter

All outlines include specific appendixes which are supported by the material which the Ministry of Health creates and places at the public disposition for their distribution, reproduction and actualization.

We begin these outlines with:

  • Restaurants, where the kitchen and bathrooms are fundamental risk places, as well as correct hand washing and respiratory hygiene, and the staff which prepares and offers the food and the commensals.
  • Working areas like this are the environment where we spend the most time, and where we have to inform the employees about preventative measures which have to be followed in order to minimize the risk of infection with the virus A (H1N1).
  • Public transport, a temporary environment,  can become a propagation path since the infection is transmitted from person to person.
  • Closed meeting centers since the congregation of persons in closed places favors the dissemination of the influenza virus A (H1N1).

The goal is for all persons to have the best possible conditions and to maintain the continuity of social, economic and political life in the country as best as possible, and that the propagation of the epidemic is hindered at the same time.

General hygienic actions of each person during an epidemic.

1.- Hand washing after coughing and sneezing.
2.- Cover the mouth with a disposable handkerchief when coughing or sneezing.
3.- If there is no handkerchief available the inner side of the elbow can be used.
4.- Avoid crowded places.
5.- Avoid greeting ill persons by hand or kissing.
6.- Avoid spitting on the ground and other surfaces.
7.- Throw handkerchiefs away in closed plastic bags.
8.- Don’t share glasses, plates, cutlery, food or drinks.
9.- Follow the recommendations as given by the physician and don’t self-medicate.
10.- Ventilate your working place and house, and permit sun to enter.
11.- Drink much and eat foods rich in vitamin C.
12.- Avoid sudden change of temperature.
13.- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

PROPHYLAXIS

1. Homeopathic remedies

a. BAPTISIA TINCTOREA

b. INFLUENZINUM

c. ARSENICUM ALBUM

HOMEOPATHIC TREATMENT

In homeopathy there are no specific medicines for a particular nosological picture (for which the most common symptoms are taken into account). But in epidemics, due to the common causative agent, susceptibility of the population in this particular moment, and the repetition of symptoms, a group of the most useful remedies can be deduced. The remedies determined in this way are called the “Genius epidemicus”. They consist of a group of medicines with symptoms most similar to those presented by most patients suffering this flu.

For homeopathic treatment is it necessary to take into account the degree of reaction of the patient and the symptoms with which the disease manifests itself. We considered this and the symptoms observed during the last epidemic (1918) to find the similar remedy. We used the following remedies with success:

Aconitum napellus, Actea racemosa, Allium cepa, Ammonium phosphoricum, Antimonium tartaricum, Arnica montana, Arsenicum album, Baptisia tinctoria, Belladonna atropa, Bryonia alba, Camphora, Carbo vegetabilis, Carbolic acid, Causticum, Chamomilla, China officinalis, Drosera rotundifolia, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Euphrasia, Ferrum phosphoricum, Gelsemium sempervirens, Glonoinum, Hepatica triloba, Hyosciamus niger, Influenzinum (corresponding to the epidemic), Ipecauanha, Lachesis trigonocephalus, Lycopodium clavatum, Mercurius vivus, Natrum sulphuricum, Nux vomica, Opium, Phosphorus, Phytolacca decandra, Pulsatilla, Pyrogenium, Rhus toxicodendron, Sticta pulmonaria, Sepia officinalis, Sulphur. (1)

Taking the primary symptoms into account, these remedies can be classified into groups with regard to their most characteristic action (without discrimination of their use outside this classification). All remedies can be necessary at any stage during the course of the disease because they all produce similar symptoms.

Most used remedies in hemorrhagic influenza:

Arnica montana, Arsenicum album, Baptisia tinctoria, Belladonna atropa, Bryonia alba, Camphora, Carbo vegetabilis, Chamomilla, China officinalis, Ferrum phosphoricum, Influenzinum (corresponding to the epidemic), Ipecacuanha, Lachesis trigonocephalus, Mercurius vivus, Phosphorus, Sepia officinalis, Sulphur.

Nosodes:

Influenzinum (corresponding to the epidemic), Pyrogenium, Anthracinum.

REFERENCES

1.     Mazari Manuel, Tesis Inaugural “Breve estudio sobre la ultima epidemia de influenza en la ciudad de México” (1918)

2.    

3.     http://portal.salud.gob.mx/index.html

4.     Periódico Exelsior, miércoles 29 de Abril de 2009.

5.     Radar 9.0 Homeopatic Software, Archibel Belgica.

6.     J. T. Kent. MD “Final General Repertory”, Revisited, corrected, augmented a edited By. Dr. Pierre Schmidt., 2ª Edit 1982, B. J. Published by, New Deli India

7.     J. T. Kent. MD “Materia Medica Homeopática”  Edit. F. Olmedo, México DF. 1982

8.     Vijnovsky Bernardo. MD “Tratado de Materia Medica Homeopática” en tres tomos. Buenos Aires Argentina 1980.

9.     Harrison, et al, “Principios de Medicina Interna”, 17ª Edición, pp- 1127, cuadro 180-1.

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About the author

Luis Jamil Bonilla Galicia

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