Novel influenza A (H1N1) is a mutated flu virus of swine origin that is transmitted by droplets that are coughed, sneezed or exhaled by people with the disease. It enters the body via the nose or the mouth and can also be transmitted by direct contact with secretions from infected people or by touching contaminated objects and then touching the nose or mouth with the hand, but it is not transmitted by eating pork, if properly cooked. The signs and symptoms of swine flu appear after an incubation period of 24-48 hours. Symptoms include fever with chills, sore throat with cough, runny nose, headache, malaise and generalised body ache.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has put swine flu on a higher alert level than bird flu and has made the following recommendations to prevent the spread of the disease:
- Avoid close contact with people who appear unwell and who have fever and cough.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently and thoroughly.
- Practise good health habits including adequate sleep, eating nutritious food, and keeping physically active.
Experts say that it will take 6-7 months to develop a specific vaccine for swine flu.
Some strains of H1N1 are endemic in humans, including the one responsible for the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which killed 50–100 million people worldwide. Homoeopathy was successful in treating the flu epidemic of 1918 and can provide a solution to the 2009 Swine Flu. While the mortality rate of people treated with conventional medicine (24,000 people) was nearly 30%, those treated by homeopathic physicians (26,000 people) had a mortality rate of only 1.05 percent. Gelsemium and Bryonia were the two homeopathic remedies that proved to be effective against the H1N1 strain back then. These could be of great use even today. Homeopaths have always used Influenzinum to preventive flu. Oscillococcinum, another remedy was first studied in France during the 1987 flu epidemic caused by an H1N1 virus. Results of double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials published in the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology showed significant curative effects of homeopathy in flu.
Quite evidently, Homeopathy does have an answer to Swine flu!
Article by Dr. Mukesh Batra
L.C.E.H., F.H.M.A. (U.K.), F.R.S.H. (Med) P.(Lon), M.D.H. (U.S.A.), F.B.I.H.(U.K.)
Published in Times of India on 19 May 2009