Flu Watch - Winter 2004/5

presented by Domenick J. Masiello, D.O., D.Ht.

I am fairly confident that this information will be applicable nationwide and maybe even worldwide due to the large amount of international travel (influenza originates in Asia and travels west). I will update this as often as it becomes necessary during the winter.

Latest update



Despite the hysteria created by the shortage of flu vaccine this year, it has been pretty mild so far. There are sporadic outbreaks of influenza throughout the United States at this time. The news media is having a grand time of it as they did last year when the wrong strains were selected and the flu vaccine was ineffective. Of course, discussions of the next pandemic, SARS and "bird flu" always come up this time of year despite the fact that they have no bearing on this year's flu situation. I suppose they serve the purpose of assuring government funding for virology labs throughout the US.

For the past two months there has been the usual upper respiratory and gastrointestinal syndromes that are common in autumn. There hasn't been an epidemicus remedy for these conditions, however. I have used Apis, Arsenicum Album, Belladonna, Bryonia, Gelsemium, Hepar Sulph., Kali Bichromicum, Kali Carbonicum, Lachesis, Mercurius Solubilis, Spongia, and Sulphur. Influenza Triple (Ainsworth) is useful again this year as an intercurrent remedy for these syndromes, particularly the respiratory variety.


Despite the hysteria created by the news media in the US, flu has not really been a problem this year. The eastern US has not seen large outbreaks of flu. There has been a new California strain which has been identified this year in the western part of the US, however, it is unlikely to be a major player this year.

There have been some bone fide cases of influenza here. While no one remedy seems have to emerged as epidemicus remedies, there are two major remedies that have been useful. This years flu seems to be characterized mostly by profound fatigue and lassitude. It may be accompanied by fever as high as 103 degrees. Body aches and chills may also be present. The two remedies are Gelsemium and Bryonia. Bryonia patients tend to be worse by movement, irritable and thirsty. Gelsemium patient are also worse by movement but not irritable, barely able to pick their heads up off the pillow and are universally thirstless. Headaches about the forehead and behind the eyes are common to both types. Prescribing either of this remedies based on indications within the first 24 hours of presentation leads to rapid resolution of the flu. The case may be helped this year by one dose of Influenzinum 200C along the way. Missed or neglected cases seem to develop a sinusitis/bronchitis which has required careful repertorization . These sequellae have responded to a wide variety of remedies such as Kali Bichromicum, Hepar Sulph., Mercurius Vivus, Phosphorus, and Sulphur.


Additional Remedy: Influenza Triple from Ainsworths

Please Note: I would add this caution - the epidemicus remedy will work when the condition is caught early. Neglected cases may require different remedies. Also, strep throat almost always rides along the influenza wave so a high fever with a sore throat should not be neglected.

Domenick J. Masiello, D.O., D.Ht.
420 East 51st Street
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