Creating Waves of Awareness
Homeopathy in the Treatment of Swine Flu
The 1918 flu pandemic in humans was associated with H1N1 and influenza appearing in pigs, this may reflect a zoonosis either from swine to humans, or from humans to swine. Although it is not certain in which direction the virus was transferred, some evidence suggests that, in this case, pigs caught the disease from humans. The H1N1 form of swine flu is one of the descendants of the Spanish flu that caused a devastating pandemic in humans during 1918 -1919. It would have been persisting in pigs and was then circulated into humans during the 20th century, contributing to the normal seasonal epidemics of influenza. This virus constantly changes its form, thereby eluding the protective antibodies that people may have developed in response to previous exposures to influenza vaccines. Every two or three years, the virus undergoes minor changes. The 2009 flu outbreak in humans, known as "swine flu", is due to a new strain of influenza. A virus subtype H1N1 that contained genes most closely related to swine influenza. The origin of this new strain is unknown. However, the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE) reports that this strain has not been isolated in pigs. This strain can be transmitted from human to human, and causes the normal symptoms of influenza. Pigs can become infected with human influenza and this appears to have happened during the 1918 flu pandemic and the 2009 flu outbreak
Transmission of Swine Flue:
Swine influenza is common in pigs in the Midwestern United States (and occasionally in other states), Mexico, Canada, South America, Europe (including the United Kingdom, Sweden, and Italy), Kenya, Mainland China, Taiwan, Japan and other parts of eastern Asia since 1918 - not a new one. Transmission of swine influenza virus from pigs to humans is not common and properly cooked pork poses no risk of infection. When transmitted, the virus does not always cause human influenza and often the only sign of infection is the presence of antibodies in the blood, detectable only by laboratory. People who work with pigs, especially people with intense exposures, are at risk of catching swine flu. However, only about fifty such transmissions have been recorded since the mid-20th century when identification of influenza subtypes became possible.
Why is swine flu now infecting humans?
Many researchers now consider that two main series of events can lead to swine flu (and also avian or bird flu becoming a major cause for influenza illness in humans.
First, the influenza viruses (types A, B, C) are enveloped RNA viruses with a segmented genome;. A human (or bird) influenza virus can infect a pig respiratory cell at the same time as a swine influenza virus;
Second, pigs can play a unique role as an intermediary host to new flu types because pig respiratory cells can be infected directly with bird, human, and other mammalian flu viruses.
Transmission between Pigs & Human Beings:
Influenza is quite common in pigs, with about half of breeding pigs having been exposed to the virus in the US. Antibodies to the virus are also common in pigs in other countries.
The main route of transmission is through direct contact between infected and uninfected animals. These close contacts are particularly common during animal transport. Intensive farming may also increase the risk of transmission, as the pigs are raised in very close proximity to each other. The direct transfer of the virus probably occurs either by pigs touching noses, or through dried mucus.
Airborne transmission through the aerosols produced by pigs coughing or sneezing is also an important means of infection. The virus usually spreads quickly through a herd, infecting all the pigs within just a few days. Transmission may also occur through wild animals, such as wild boar, which can spread the disease between farms.
People who work with poultry and swine, especially people with intense exposures, are at increased risk of zoonotic infection with influenza virus endemic in these animals, and Other professions at particular risk of infection are veterinarians and meat processing workers, although the risk of infection for both of these groups is lower than that of farm workers.
Signs and symptoms of Swine Flue:
In pigs influenza infection produces fever, lethargy, sneezing, coughing, difficulty breathing and decreased appetite. In some cases the infection can cause abortion. Although mortality is usually low (around 1-4%), the virus can produce weight loss and poor growth, causing economic loss to farmers. Infected pigs can lose up to 12 pounds of body weight over a 3 to 4 week period.
According to Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the symptoms of swine flu were similar to those of influenza and of influenza like illness. It includes fever, sore throat, body aches, headaches, chills and fatigue.
The 2009 outbreak has shown an increased percentage of patients reporting diarrhea and vomiting. In United States, CDC advised physicians to consider swine influenza infection in the differential diagnosis of patients with acute febrile respiratory illness.
The presumed pathophysiology indicates that influenza viruses bind through hemagglutin on to sialic acid sugars on the surfaces of epithelial cells, which typically affect the nose, throat and lungs of humans.
Major Complications of Swine Flue:
Diagnosis of Swine Flue:
Swine flu is presumptively diagnosed clinically by the patient's history of association with people known to have the disease and their symptoms listed above.
Usually, a quick test (for example, nasopharyngeal swab sample) is done to see if the patient is infected with influenza A or B virus. Most of the tests can distinguish between A and B types. The test can be negative (no flu infection) or positive for type A and B.
If the test is positive for type B, the flu is not likely to be swine flu (H1N1).
If it is positive for type A, the person could have a conventional flu strain or swine flu (H1N1). Swine flu (H1N1) is definitively diagnosed by identifying the particular antigens associated with the virus type. In general, this test is done in a specialized laboratory and is not done by many doctors' offices or hospital laboratories.
A confirmed case of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection is defined as a person with an acute respiratory illness with laboratory confirmed swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection at CDC by one or more of the following tests:
Risk groups in Attacking with Swine Flue:
Prevention of human to human transmission:
Influenza spreads between humans through coughing or sneezing and people touching something with the virus on it and then touching their own nose or mouth. Swine flu cannot be spread by pork products, since the virus is not transmitted through food.
Recommendations to prevent spread of the virus among humans :
Although the current trivalent influenza vaccine is unlikely to provide protection against the new 2009 H1N1 strain, vaccines against the new strain are being developed and could be ready as early as June 2009.
In general, the majority (about 90%-95%) of people that get the disease feel terrible but recover with no problems, as seen in patients in both Mexico and the U.S. Caution must be taken as the swine flu (H1N1) is still spreading and may become a pandemic.Young adults have not done well, and in Mexico, this group currently has the highest mortality rate, but this data could quickly change.People with depressed immune systems historically have worse outcomes. Another confounding problem with the prognosis of swine flu (H1N1) is that the disease is occurring and spreading in high numbers at the usual end of the flu season. Most flu outbreaks happen between November to the following April, with peak activity between late December to March. This outbreak is not following the usual flu pattern. Because swine flu (H1N1) does not seem to be following the usual flu disease pattern, any prognosis is speculative. The first traceable case in Mexico, termed "patient zero," was a 5-year-old child in Veracruz who has completely recovered. Investigators noted that large pig farms were located close to the boy's home. The first death in the U.S. occurred in a 23-month-old child who was visiting Texas from Mexico but apparently caught the disease in Mexico. The World Health Organization has not, as of Apr. 29, declared a pandemic, but it has declared a phase 5 alert (a phase 5 WHO alert warns that a disease outbreak has occurred that is transmitted from person to person, is sustained in communities, and has spread to several nations). The WHO said it may consider declaring a pandemic (WHO stage 6) if the number of cases and nations affected increase; some scientists suggest that phase 6 is imminent.
Totality of symptoms:
n Chill with fever
n Sore throat
n Muscular pains
n Nausea & vomiting
n Running nose
Homeopathic Medicines of Swine Flue and their Indications:
Organon of medicine – 6th edition
Lectures on philosophy – J.T Kent
Pointers to common remedies – M L Tyler
Boericke’s pocket manual of Materia Medica