3/18/2008 — As of the latest CDC report, from 3/8/2008, influenza is widespread in much of the country, although a few states have been downgraded to to “regional” outbreaks, rather than “widespread.”.  Thirty two pediatric deaths have been reported nationwide.  A fourth pediatric death was reported in Massachusetts, this morning.  All the children who died had other significant medical issues that the influenza complicated.

Unfortunately, the current vaccine does not confer immunity to the A(H3N2) strain which started to become evident in the last two weeks in January.

Several weeks ago, I’d spoken with a number of people with flu-like illness.  While I could confirm that these were, in fact, influenza (which would require laboratory testing), I can say that the most common remedy that I’d prescribed at that time was Antimonium tartaricum.

Typical of that remedy is a strong feeling of lethargy and weakness, a loose, wet cough which may not, however, be productive, and a desire to be left alone (if not frank irritability).  If used in a low potency (12C, 30C), frequent administration is useful.  The response is not rapid, however, but I have seen good improvements within 12-36 hours.

More recently,  Rhus toxicodendron  is the remedy I’ve most often advised.  In Rhus toxicodendron, the main symptoms are strong fatigue, with aching of the  body (joints, muscles, etc.) which is aggravated when first moving, relieved with continued motion, but then stiffness and aching sets in again after a period of rest.  It is a more physical restlessness, from stiffness and aching, than a mental or emotional restlessness (as might be seen with Arsenicum album, for example). 

If I see more cases of this remedy, then I will recommend that this replace Influenzinum as the “genus epidemicus.”  More informaton on this concept can be found in the article on Influenza elsewhere in my site.  For the purpose of prevention, this remedy can be used 2-3 times daily, even in the absence of symptoms, especially if you are exposed to someone ill with a flu-like illness.

You may view the most current CDC report here .

You may access my article on Influenza here.

Homeoprophylaxis should have been started by this time, and you may take Influenzinum weekly while we see what the next few weeks brings.