Homeopathy associated with dramatic reduction in Leptospirosis infection in Cuban population
3 August 2010
A report of the largest study of homeopathy ever undertaken, based on data from over 11 million people (the entire population of Cuba), is published today in the journal Homeopathy1. It provides fascinating evidence that a highly dilute substance, prepared according to homeopathic principles, may contribute to the prevention of Leptospirosis.
Leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s Disease) is an infectious disease carried by rats and caused by bacteria called spirochetes. People contract the disease through contact with contaminated water. Leptospirosis occurs worldwide, but it is most common in the tropics during periods of heavy rain.
In Cuba, Leptospirosis is recorded by an efficient national surveillance programme. Its incidence correlates closely with heavy rainfall and subsequent flooding. In late 2007, in response to a developing epidemic, and with only enough vaccine to treat 15,000 high-risk people, the government decided to treat the entire population of the region, over one year of age, with a homeopathic medicine. This was prepared from the inactivated causative organism provided by the Cuban National Vaccine Institute.
The homeopathic medicine was given to the 2.3 million population of the provinces usually worst affected. Within a few weeks the number of cases had fallen from 38 to 4 cases per 100,000 per week, significantly fewer than the historically-based forecast for those weeks of the year. The 8.8 million population of the other provinces did not receive homeopathic treatment and the incidence was as forecast. The effect appeared to be sustained: there was an 84% reduction in infection in the treated region in the following year (2008) when, for the first time, incidence did not correlate with rainfall. In the same period, incidence in the untreated region increased by 22%.
“Infectious diseases are still the bane of humanity, particularly in the developing world”, states Dr Sara Eames, President of the Faculty of Homeopathy. “Anything which appears to reduce infection rates in a potentially fatal infection, particularly when it can be prepared and delivered quickly, safely and cost effectively, has to be taken seriously and studied further.”
Dr Peter Fisher, Editor of Homeopathy, notes “This is a very large study and its results, if confirmed, have huge potential impact. We need more research into the effectiveness of homeopathic preparations in preventing infectious diseases, complications, and the economic viability of a homeopathic approach.”
Notes to Editors
Leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s Disease)
(Definition from http://www.medicinenet.com/leptospirosis/article.htm)
It is an infectious disease caused by a particular type of bacteria called a spirochete. Leptospirosis can be transmitted by many animals. People contract the disease either by ingesting contaminated food or water or via broken skin and mucous membrane (eyes, nose, sinuses, mouth) in contact with the contaminated water or soil. Leptospirosis occurs worldwide, but it is most commonly acquired in the tropics.
Leptospirosis symptoms begin from two to 25 days after initial direct exposure. The illness typically progresses through two phases:
The first phase of non-specific flu-like symptoms includes headaches, muscle aches, eye pain with bright lights, followed by chills and fever. Watering and redness of the eyes occurs and symptoms seem to improve by the fifth to ninth day.
The second phase begins after a few days of feeling well. The initial symptoms recur with fever, aching and neck stiffness. Some patients develop serious inflammation of the nerves to the eyes, brain, spinal column (meningitis), or other nerves. Right upper area abdominal pain may occur and less common symptoms relate to disease of the liver, lungs, kidneys, and heart.
Immunisation and chemoprophylaxis with antibiotics are effective against Leptospirosis, but they are expensive. Immunisation requires a course of injections and chemoprohylaxis must be given continuously during the at-risk period. For these reasons, in most epidemic regions they are used only for high-risk groups,
Homeopathy, published by Elsevier, is an international peer-reviewed journal. It is the only journal dedicated to the topic that is indexed in PubMed, the main database of medical research articles.
Faculty of Homeopathy
The Faculty of Homeopathy, Incorporated by Act of Parliament 1950, promotes the academic and scientific development of homeopathy. It ensures the highest standards in the education, training and practice of homeopathy by doctors, nurses, midwives, osteopaths, pharmacists, podiatrists, veterinary surgeons and other statutorily registered healthcare professionals.
For further information contact:
Faculty of Homeopathy Media Officer on 07983 759294.
1. Bracho G, Varela E, Fernández R, et al. Large-scale application of highly-diluted bacteria for Leptospirosis epidemic control. Homeopathy 2010; 99: 156–166.