Dengue fever is due to a viral infection from a flavivirus. It generally lasts for 10-12 days, and the day on which the patient is being offered treatment is very important. For the first 3-4 days, counting from the first day of fever, the patient is expected to be symptomatic. After this, the symptoms reduce and an asymptomatic phase of complications starts. The most well-known complication in this phase is the drop in the platelet count.
In Pune, in a well-known hospital – KEM hospital, a physician – Dr Rajesh Gadia, was fighting it out. Out of sheer sympathy with the patients who kept suffering in spite of the symptomatic treatment that could be offered, he called upon the team of PRANA – The Homoeopathy Yoga center. Three members from the team were delegated the task – Dr. Manisha Kamble, Dr. Gitesh Kalyankar, and Dr. Shrikant Talari. They went to the said hospital, and collected data of as many as 25 patients.
Homoeo-prophylaxis or the role and approach to the Genus Epidemicus:
Individualization is the core of homoeopathy. However, it is not so in the acute epidemics– rapid morbid processes, which finish their course more or less quickly and attack many persons with similar sufferings from the same cause.
From the above definition itself (§ 72 -73) it is clear, that an epidemic is a collective disease, occurring due to the presence of a common contagious principle – “infectious organism”.
This means that such an occurrence should have a common “picture”, and therefore a common remedy could be found out for it. This is the well-known concept of “Genus Epidemicus”. (§100- 102)
Usually we say that a person won’t manifest the symptoms of a disease unless internally susceptible to it. But sometimes when the disease cause is very strong it will overwhelm the individual’s vitality & affect him. This leads to an epidemic where large numbers of people develop the same symptoms simultaneously. In such a case many people who get the disease don’t even realize it and don’t get treated for it. That’s because due to their inherent vitality, the symptoms developed are very mild and are resolved by their own life-force i.e. immune system without needing medication, especially if they aren’t otherwise weak or stressed.
This happened with swine flu for a couple of years and eventually a herd immunity developed owing to which most people are now resistant to swine flu.A genus is not the person’s individualized constitutional remedy. It’s a general one, the greatest common denominator that best fits the symptoms of the large group of people affected.
Such a non – individualized approach is used in homoeopathy in an epidemic situation. However this generalization does not imply an allopathic approach; the direction of cure is still inside – out (i.e. to address cause), rather than outside – in (i.e. to suppress symptoms). In short, the genus epidemicus is the remedy found out from the collective totality of many patients suffering from the same disease in an epidemic.
This concept was ably understood and effectively used in this current epidemic of dengue, both for the treatment and prevention of it.
The team at PRANA studied the data. This was what came out.
Most of the patients had the following symptoms
- Coldness of the body
- Sub conjunctival hemorrhage
- Crampy pain in the abdomen
- Cramps in the legs
- What was peculiar amongst all this was the deathly nausea, coldness of the body; anxiety as if he was responsible for this condition and the family would suffer because of the same
- Vertigo, which was aggravated on opening the eyes.
- Desire for fanning.
The typical symptoms of dengue fever being:
- fever with chills
- body ache,
- Eye pain
- Muscular and joint pain
- Nausea and vomiting
- Rash on the body
- Muddy sclera and sub-conjunctival hemorrhage
- Tourniquet test/ Blanching on pressure.
- Mobile, matted and soft lymphadenitis.
- Puffiness of face.
The atypical symptoms that were chosen were:
- Vertigo opening eyes agg
- Nausea incessant (characteristic on the basis of its intensity)
- Anxiety of conscience as if guilty of a crime
- Fanning desire for
The above rubrics were chosen as PQRS, keeping in view the patho-physiology of dengue.
The Remedy Tabacum came up as the most prominent remedy and the proposed genus epidemicus.
NOTE: Clinical pathogenesis of tympanitis is well covered by Tabacum.
Following are the toxic effects of tobacco
- Marked irritation of functions of vagii. Emaciation of cheeks and back. Complete prostration of entire muscular system. Icy coldness of surface: covered with cold sweat.
- Paroxysms of – asthma, sick headache, vertigo, sneezing.
- Great despondency with Indigestion.
- Palpitation, intermittent pulse.
- Vertigo: death- like pallor, increasing to loss of consciousness;
- Dim- sighted: sees as through a veil; strabismus, depending upon brain troubles. Amaurosis, from atrophy of retina or optic nerve. sub conjunctival hemorrhage
- Face pale, blue, pinched, sunken, collapsed; cowered with cold sweat
- Nausea: incessant, as if seasick; vomiting, on least motion; with faintness;
In this current remedy there is sub-cutaneous and sub-conjunctival hemorrhage with other very characteristic symptoms documented in over 10 affected patients from K.E.M. Hospital Pune, that indicate the remedy Tabaccum prepared from tobacco leaves, which is from the Solanaceae or nightshade plant family (potato and tomato family).
We also advised juice of papaya leaves along with the above protocol. While being advised to avoid eating vegetable from the Solanaceae family until they recovered completely.
We gave the Dose- in 200 c potency in water dose 3 times a day as a protocol. This was kept flexible as per the needs of the case. This was given to 30 patients and data was collected to check the remedy response. Out of 30, 3 needed 30 potency and three others needed LM 4. We even gave it to a pregnant lady in her second trimester and she recovered swiftly, with no problem to her pregnancy or to her fetus.
Indications for 30C:
30C was given to asymptomatic patients, with need for the remedy in order to prevent the complications.
Indications for LM4:
LM4 was given to patients who had a more virulent strain of the disease. These patients had subcutaneous or even frank bleeding, also to patients who were unfortunate to get their menses during the tenure of the disease. In such cases, the bleeding not only remained under control, but the subcutaneous ones stopped within a day.
Role of inter-current remedies in few cases:
Some cases were seen when they already had complications like pleural effusion. In these, the remedy helped them with other symptoms like fever etc., but they needed a few doses of Bacillinum 200 as inter-current so as to clear the effusion. This reduced the breathlessness, after which Tabacum cleared the symptoms instantly.
POSOLOGY FOR HOMOEO-PROPHYLAXIS:
Tabacum was given to the family members and attendants of the patients so as to protect them from getting the disease. We found that none of them finally got the disease.
It was given in the 200th potency, twice daily. Along with this, we advised them to stop the repetition as soon as they got any symptom.
All of them improved not only on symptomatic / clinical parameters, but also on the pathological ground – i.e. in those patients who came in the symptomatic phase, not only were they relieved of their symptoms, but we were able to prevent any complication, and the fall of platelet count. Also for those who came with already low platelet counts, their counts shot up more than anybody could believe.
REACH OF GENUS:
As was observed, the patients in this study, although collected in one hospital, came from varied regions of Maharashtra – from Kashti, Bhigwan, Baramati, Talegaon Dabhade, Jalgaon, Shrigonda and Mahad other than those from Pune itself. This gave us a fair idea that the perimeter of the genus was widespread.
This was also confirmed by the fact that, Dr. Abhay Talwalkar, a team member of PRANA, confirmed similar symptoms in cases seen in his nursing home at Nira, which is 80 kilometers from Pune. His patients also showed speedy recovery and rise of platelet count, with the same remedy.
Apart from giving important insights on the genus, Dr Sunil Anand our team leader and President of Prana, helped derive the genus and supervised the cases, while offering timely intervention for a few select cases, where some fine tuning in the form of posology or an inter-current remedy, where remedy action faced a block, after acting well initially. It was a huge learning and satisfying experience for us all. This involved about 300 hours of extensive research and follow up visits to the wards by our team members. The results at the end were very much valued and covered by the media. You may visit Dr Anand’s site at www.drsunilanand.com and read about the same if interested, under cases and articles and titled- Homeopathic treatment for Dengue.
Note: The above initiative was taken up by Team Prana as a social cause and consultation of patients and dispensing of medicine was done free of charge. We intentionally did not patent the remedy and we wished that all be able to avail of the same. It was made available at the Prana pharmacy and at VV and Co under the name Tab Dengue. This was done to keep some control on the dosing to ensure proper use and avoid over dosing from the side of a patient.
At our Centre, nine of us including our Dean – Dr Sunil Anand, worked to help Dengue patients in the epidemic. Three of us – Dr. Manisha Kamble, myself and Dr. Shrikant Talari regularly visited the wards of a renowned hospital, collected data, dispensed medicines and took follow-ups and were backed wonderfully by the others.