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Bird Flu – Are We at Risk?

BirdNOTE: This article was written for the bird flu crisis of 2003-5 but as homeopathy is prescribed against symptoms rather than disease names or virus strains, the information in this article is still relevant for the symptoms of the bird flu, swine flu, or any-other-sort-of-flu.

The short answer is, yes.  There have been recent reports in the media that the bird flu spreading across South Asia is rapidly taking on the proportions of a global health crisis (eg., SMH. 14/3/05). The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that bird flu poses the single biggest threat to the world and they doubt we can deal with it adequately.

The concern is that if this virus mutates and spreads to the human population that the death toll would be horrendous. This is exactly what happened during the 1918-19 flu pandemic when a then bird flu virus mutated and jumped into the human population. Up to 50 million people world-wide died, including more than 12,000 in Australia.

Should this scenario repeat itself today a vaccine could be developed but it would take 6 – 8 months to identify the virus strain and begin manufacture. In the meantime millions with no prior immunity would be infected. In the medium term demand for the vaccine would outstrip supply and because of poverty, etc,. not all populations would have access to it. It is a grim picture.

But what about homeopathy? Can it help? Its medicines are incredibly cheap to produce so all population groups could afford them and unlike vaccines their distribution would not be controlled by drug companies with patents. They can rapidly be produced in large quantities – enough to meet the needs of a pandemic in a few days. And, they do not require the identification of a virus before manufacture can start – symptoms alone are enough.

But will homeopathy work? Homeopaths and their clients will tell you that every winter they see the effectiveness of remedies prescribed for the flu. In France where homeopathy is well known the largest selling flu treatment every year prescribed by doctors and practitioners alike is a homeopathic compound. Perhaps some of the best accounts of homeopathy’s ability come from those who used it during the devastating 1918 pandemic. I have reprinted two below:

1. A Philadelphian, Dean Pearson, collected information on 26,795 cases treated homeopathically with a mortality rate of 1.05% compared with a rate of 30% for conventional treatment.

2 .Frank Wieland M.D. of Chicago told how in a plant of 8000 workers there was only one death. Practically the only remedy prescribed was Gelsemium and neither aspirin or vaccines were used.

3. The fatalities at the New York City hospital, where all influenza patients were treated by homeopathy, were shown to be lower than in any other city hospital in the country.

4. Thirty physicians in Connecticut who treated the flu homeopathically reported 6,602 cases with 55 deaths, which is less than 1%

5. H.A. Roberts M.D. of Connecticut wrote of how the transport service on which he served had 81 cases that all recovered under homeopathic treatment in comparison to another ship that lost 31 men.

6. E. F. Sappington M.D. of Philadelphia wrote that 1500 cases were reported at the Homeopathic Medical Society of the District of Columbia with only 15 deaths. Recoveries in the National Homeopathic Hospital were 100%.

7.T. A. McCann M.D. records show that he treated 1000 cases of influenza with no losses. He gave all credit to homeopathy.

8.C. Smith King M.D. states that she treated 350 cases with homeopathy and only lost one.

(Editor’s note: Gelsemium was the matching remedy for the symptoms of this particular pandemic – weakness, trembling and collapse -1 but will not necessarily be the remedy for every epidemic as key symptoms differ from one to another. For this reason homeopaths may include several commonly prescribed flu remedies in their flu prophylactics so a broad symptom match is achieved).

(From The Faces of Homeopathy: an Illustrated History of the First 200 Years. pp.236-237, quoting from the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, 1921.)

So-o-o-o-o, should the worst happen and the bird virus enter the human population this year, next year, or the year after, remember homeopathy – it is easily prepared, rapidly dispensed, and prescribed according to immediate symptoms rather than virus identification – it could well save your life.

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