World has been shaken by some deadly infectious disease in last decade or so like SARS, MERS and the current pandemic COVID-19. The founder of homoeopathy Dr Hahnemann in his time successfully alleviated the suffering of many patients from many infectious disease back then namely scarlet fever Asiatic cholera etc. he presented his views regarding these in his article friend of health in 1795 and also in organon and how we can prevent future epidemics.
Lets get an idea of infectious disease and what Dr.Hahanemann and homoeopathy has to offer in this.
The entry and development or multiplication of an infectious agent in the body of man or animals.
A clinically manifest disease of man or animals resulting from an infection.
Transmission of infectious disease
Infectious disease mainly transmit through two modes:
1. Direct mode
a. Direct contact
b. Droplet infection
c. Contact with soil
d. Inoculation into skin or mucosa
2. Indirect mode – they mostly spread through flies, fomites, food , fluid and fingers.
a. Vehicle borne
b. Vector borne
c. Air borne
d. Fomite borne
e. Unclean hands and fingers.
Investigation of infectious disease
A Non microbiological – eg FBC, plasma CRP, cell count in urine or CSF,CSF protein and glucose
B. Direct detection
• Detection of organism component ( Eg antigen or toxin )
• Nucleic acid amplification (eg: PCR )
C. Culture – antimicrobial sensitivity testing
D. Immunological Tests
• Antibody detection
• T cell stimulation test
Homoeopathy on infectious disease
Homoeopathy is a system of therapeutics which follows law of nature in treating diseases.so in treating infectious disease also we should be guided by nature itself. Dr Hughes tells that to defend herself nature follows that for germination two factors are needed seed and soil it does not kill seed when it has sprouted instead it makes soil forbid development of it disallowing the life of foreign invader and brings its history to close similarly homoeopathic remedies in such diseases try to favour introduction of immunity chosen on account of similarity of their effects to those of contagium in question. Immunity may be short term but can be supplied by repetition of doses.
Dr Hahnemann in Organon aphorism 73 and 100 -102 talks of them and our approach he characterizes them under acute disease and mentions that these diseases usually attacks many persons with similar sufferings with same cause and produce fevers .he emphasizes that symptom complex of these comes to light only through observation of several cases involving different constitution and then only a genus epidemicus can be obtained.
Most important aspect of controlling infectious disease is prevention .He lays down guidelines from his experience in article “protection from infection,etc” and “ suggestion for the prevention of epidemics in general .especially in town” of which some notable ones are
For the sick
• Must change his room and bed every day if he is not too weak,
• Let fresh air circulate by opening doors and windows.
• Should not allow any visitor near him
For the healthcare worker
• Stay near sick for as short time as possible
• To refrain from breathing when examining the sick
• Must keep himself in good mental health avoiding excess anger ,grief and care.
• He should not forget to take food and drink in usual manner also eat for which he has most appetite.
• Should keep his clothes in airy place after using them
For the society
• Rag gatherer must not be allowed to live anywhere but isolated houses.
• No item should be sold by them of rags.
• Paper mills should be well ventilated far away from dwelling houses.
• Prison should always allow free access of fresh air with three windows for each small cell along with utensil which should be rinsed with boiling water.
• Military hospitals should not be allowed in the middle of towns
• Infectious disease mostly get communicated through money and letters, the former may be washed in boiling water and latter be fumigated with sulphur.
• One should avoid sick person as infectious miasm can transmit easily.
• Acquaintances should not kiss or shake hands also avoiding drinking out of another glass.
• At times of Infectious disease one should get rid of domestic animals as they often carry virus in their hair.
• Special watch should be kept on low lying houses that are inundated by the water because they often are source of infection.
• Travelling ships should take appropriate measures of hygiene ,
• Proper town planning must be done when building new town houses should not be higher than two story and behind every house a courtyard and garden be built.
• Sale of stock fish and herrings be outside city gates.
• Sick workmen school going children should not go out and avoid any sort of public gathering.
Some commonly employed rubrics which can help in selecting appropriate remedy according to symptom similarity.
MIND-FEAR –infection of
DREAMS- infection;of an
FEVER –infection from
Murphy Repertory :
DISEASES -infectious disease; ailments since
Dr Hahnemann was way ahead of his times and always emphasized on the concept of wholistic health which not only encompasses treatment but maintaining good hygiene standards along with dietary habits and importance of exercise .His views and writings are still a source to learn and adapt ourselves and safeguard us all from such dreaded disease and their future occurrence.
• Davidson’s Principles & practice of medicine
• Park’s textbook of preventive and social medicine –K.Park
• Organon of the medical art- Wenda o reilly
• The lesser writings of Samuel Hahnemann- R.E.Dudgeon
• The principles $ practice of homoeopathy –Richard hughes
• Synthesis repertory – frederik schroyens
• Murphy’s repertory- Robin Murphy
Dr Manjeet Mishra B.H.M.S, M.D.(Hom.)(Organon of Medicine)