Dengue – An Alarming Epidemic – Velmurugan Vasanth –

The Dengue is probably the most important arthropod borne viral disease worldwide, with 50 million infections occurring per year. Symptoms typically begin three to fourteen days after infection. This may include a high fever, head pain, vomiting, muscle and pain in joints, and a characteristic skin rash. Recovery generally takes two to seven days. In a small proportion of cases, the disease develops into the life-threatening dengue hemorrhagic fever, resulting in bleeding, low levels of blood platelets and blood plasma leakage, or into dengue shock syndrome, where dangerously low blood pressure occurs.

The principal vector for the transmission of dengue virus is Aedes aegypti mosquito. It typically breeds near human habitation, using fresh water sources such as water jars, vases, discarded containers, coconut husk and old tires.

The mosquito usually inhabits dwellings and bites during the day. Closed habitations with air-conditioning may inhibit transmission of the viruses. Symptoms of Dengue

Acute or chronic malarial fever; temperature rises in the afternoon with chill and shivering, bilious vomiting with thirst and headache. Chronic slow fever with history of gonorrhoea and weakness due to seminal loss. Bad effect of quinine which causes continuation of fever with burning in hands face; jaundice, etc. It is reported to increase platelet count and reduce the body temperature in short duration particularly in fever.

Research from the King Institute of Preventive Medicine in India – a state-run organisation – has reported that a homeopathic “drug” shows promise as a cure for dengue fever. The homeopathic remedy used was Eupatorium perfoliatum. This has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and is also known as “fever wort” and “sweating-plant”.Lead researcher Dr P Gunasekaran commented that – ‘it wasn’t a new idea to administer the drug to patients with dengue. Earlier the drug was given to patients in Delhi and Sri Lanka during epidemics’.

Comparative Clinical Study on the Effectiveness of Homeopathic Combination Remedy with Standard Maintenance Therapy for Dengue Fever – 50 patients with dengue fever were taken for study. Their full blood count (FBC) including platelet count (PLT), white blood cell count (WBC) and hematocrit level (HCT) were recorded The parameters were monitored daily. Conclusion: The homeopathic combination appeared to be a more potent treatment against dengue fever; however, further studies are required to demonstrate this clearly.

In Brazil, in May 2001, a single dose of the homeopathic remedy Eupatorium perfoliatum 30C was given to 40% of residents of the most highly affected neighborhood. Thereafter, dengue incidence decreased by 81.5%, a highly significant decrease as compared with neighbourhoods that did not receive homoeopathic prophylaxis. Again in early 2007, facing the challenge of controlling an outbreak of dengue, the Secretary of Health of the county of Macaé, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, carried out a “Homeopathy Campaign against Dengue.” 156,000 doses of homoeopathic remedy were freely distributed in April and May 2007 to asymptomatic patients, according to the notion of “epidemic genus.” The remedy used was a homoeopathic complex against dengue containing Phosphorus 30cH, Crotalus horridus 30cH and Eupatorium perfoliatum 30cH. The incidence of the disease in the first 3 months of 2008 fell by 93% in comparison to the corresponding period in 2007, whereas in the rest of the state of Rio de Janeiro there was an increase of 128%. While confounding factors were not controlled for, these results suggest that Homoeopathy may be an effective adjunct in dengue outbreak prevention. Further, in 2012, a double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized trial was conducted on dengue patients using the same homoeopathic complex, to evaluate the effectiveness of the homeopathic intervention in dengue epidemic. The intervention group showed improvement in most symptoms including headache, fever, and myalgia.

In Pakistan, a homoeopathic complex of 10 medicines including Bryonia alba, Rhus toxicodendron, Gelsemium sempervirens, Aconitum napellus, Eupatorium perfoliatum, China boliviana, Hamamelis, Citrullus colocynthis, Crotalus horridus and Phosphorus was given to 25 patients of dengue fever and the mean values of each of the criteria of both homoeopathic and standard treatment groups were compared. 8]

In Cuba, 25,000 patients who tested positive for dengue were treated with a homoeopathic complex containing medicines Bryonia alba, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Gelsemium sempervirens and Dengue nosode. As a result, no severe symptoms were reported after its administration, nor did any patient require any more intensive care from an average of 3 to 5 days of entering Intensive Care Unit. Even the stay at the hospital reduced from 7–10 days to 3–5 days.[9]

Thailand Public Health Ministry is implementing homeopathy in all districts of Sing Buri this year, after a report that it could boost the human’s body immunity to fight dengue fever, an inspector-general at the ministry said. Homeopathic medicines had been given to Sing Buri volunteer students from kindergarten to lower-secondary level in a 2012-13 trial and it yielded satisfactory results, said Dr Jakkriss Bhumisawasdi, director of the Inspector-General Region 4 Bureau of Inspection and Evaluation. The number of dengue fever cases in Sing Buri have gone down, taking its rankings from No 67 in the country (with one death) in 2011 to No 76 in 2012. As there was a nationwide dengue fever outbreak in 2013, Sing Buri reported the country’s lowest prevalence at 44.95 per 100,000 population.