Journal

In this section you will find any interesting information I have come across which I think is timely and at least somewhat urgent to know.

This will update the prior post.
Human to human transmission has now been documented, which is hardly surprising.

The most recent data shows:
— in China, the total number of cases is 11,791
— of the total cases, there have been 259 deaths (2.2%)
— 1795 cases are listed as severe (with no explicit definition of “severe”). If this number can be compared to the total (which may not be the case), then 14% of cases have been severe.

In the United States, thee are 8 reported cases, at least one (probably two, perhaps more) represent human-to-human transmission. They are all in quarantine and being carefully monitored, as are there contacts.

Again, both “severe” cases and fatal cases will primarily be among those who are already sick in various ways, smokers, chronic lung disease, immunosuppression (as in cancer patients on treatment, etc.).

As to the issue of face-masks, ordinarily surgical masks are probably useless outdoors, at this point, even if walking in population dense areas. That might not be true if epidemic conditions develop.

If you are in the same house with a Coronavirus-infected person, and especially if doing direct care, a surgical facemask may be helpful to intercept fluids from reaching the mouth or nose. This would include infected sputum. When removing the mask, it is important to not touch the front of the mask.

Hospital personnel are recommended to wear “N95” masks, which provide much better seals.

Frequent hand-washing continues to be the best ordinary defense at this time.

There been some reports from Chinese Homeopaths that the most common remedy for their patients with Coronavirus has been Gelsemium, followed by Bryonia and Eupatorium perfoliatum.

Gelsemium is characterized by great muscular and general fatigue, chilliness, and low thirst

Bryonia by desire to stay perfectly still and an irritable mood, averse to being disturbed. Any motion aggravates

Eupatorium has deep-seated pains in the bones with fever, and vomiting after drinking can be prominent

You can find much more on those remedies online.

Whether or not those particular remedies will be the most useful here (should there be a need) is not determinable at this time

Coronavirus 1/28/2020

January 28, 2020

People have started to ask me about Coronavirus, which is very much in the news at this time.
The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) just today issued some formal guidelines for healthy professionals, which can be found here.. Please click on the orange tiles for more exact information.

Basically, fever (not always present) and the symptoms of lower respiratory tract involvement (cough, difficulty breathing) AND contact (within 14 days) with someone who is under suspicion of having a coronavirus infection, OR actual travel from Wuhan or other locations where epidemics are thought to exist should make health care professionals suspect that they are dealing with a case of Coronavirus.

While Wuhan, China is the only current city where an epidemic has been established, this might change.

While we cannot at this time be sure of the extent of the problem, last night’s figure of roughly 27,000 cases with 80 deaths would indicated that less than 3% of cases lead to death, and those cases seem to have occurred primarily in people with other co-existing medical conditions.

These figures are sure to change, and as time goes by may become more accurate.

So far, human to human transmission has not been established, but that again may change.

From a treatment perspective, we have as yet no clear clinical picture upon which to prescribe homeopathically, and the effectiveness of conventional antiviral agents have not been established, although they are being used.

There are a large number of homeopathic remedies that might be used for fever and cough, and even if we add difficulty breathing, the list is still very large. In any given case, there may be “individualizing symptoms” that would determine a remedy for that person. If that particular remedy starts to be seen repeatedly, then it could be useful as a preventative.

There is currently no vaccine for this disease, and that is not likely to change for a number of months, at a minimum.

As far as other strategies for protecting ourselves, my article on Influenza contains the relevant information (common sense, hygiene, adequate nutrition and especially vitamin D, etc.)

Should non-travel related cases start popping up in this country, those who have other serious medical conditions, especially those who are immunosuppressed, will need to be especially cautious.

Anyone who is under suspicion for a Coronavirus infection will be reported to the Health Department and will receive special testing and observation (which, however, may well be done at home if the symptom picture is relatively mild.

I will update this post if and when more information becomes available

Influenza 2019-2020

November 22, 2019

Flu season is ramping up again, slowly but steadily
I will update this post as I have more relevant information.
For those of you using Influenzinum, you can start now.
Please refer to my website article for other information and instructions.

Vitamin D continues, in my estimation, to be important.

Of note this year is that owing to changes at homeopathic pharmacies, if you wish to obtain Influenzinum, you will have get it directly through me.

Everyone should read this article: https://www.outsideonline.com/2380751/sunscreen-sun-exposure-skin-cancer-science

I was already familiar with much of it, but not the link between sun exposure and the production of nitric oxide, which is a very basic and very important part of our biochemistry.

In addition, from reading the article and seeing that sunlight on the skin does more than produce just Vitamin D, I wonder if the failure of clinical studies that show no benefit to supplementing vitamin D in diseases known to be associated with low levels (except for osteoporosis) might be due to the other effects.  As with many things in medicine, what we know is often not the whole story.

While I’m at it, and we are going through a heat wave, please stay hydrated in this weather, and to the extent that you are out in it and perspiring, you need not only water but more salt, potassium, and perhaps some magnesium.  Salt is easy, potassium is found in bananas, other fruits, vegetables and vegetable broths, etc.  If you are eating well magnesium is probably not an issue but it wouldn’t hurt to take 100 mg/daily (if you aren’t already).

Please find standard recommendations for dealing with extreme heat at:  https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/heat-exhaustion  You can assess the recommendation for sunscreen with some caution, based on the article above

One of the biggest arguments against homeopathy is simply that the medicines are so dilute that there can be nothing in them, and therefore it is impossible for their to be any biological effect.

An article just came across my desk regarding a conference recently held in the UK that contains interesting information regarding the “mechanism” by which very dilute medicines are able to exert effects in biological systems.

Influenza 2018-19

December 1, 2018

The current flu season has just started to make itself noticed in Connecticut.

For those of you who use Influenzinum, now would be the time to start.

I had the impression, in the last two years, that I was getting a few more calls about the flu than usual, and I wondered if the preparation of Influenzinum was “working” as well as it had always seemed to.  But this was just a suspicion, as I wasn’t asking people who called if they had used it or not.

This year I will pay more attention to trying to correlate Influenzinum usage with flu-like illness during the flu season.  Unfortunately, there are lot of viral illnesses that look like flu but really aren’t.  The only way to know is to do an actual test for the flu virus, and so the question of the efficacy of Influenzinum may be difficult to assess.

We don’t know yet how “effective” the current vaccine will be, although certain mathematical models are predicting a relatively low efficacy, as was also true last year.  From a public health perspective, it is thought that vaccine coverage (how many people get vaccinated) may be more important than the actual efficacy of the vaccine itself.

Because of the very large number of people who are susceptible to the flu, and who actually get the flu, even a low-efficacy vaccine may still help a large number of people.

My usual recommendations have not changed.  Unless you have previously reacted negatively to the vaccine, I have no objections to its administration, with the caveat that vaccine from  single-dose vials, which do not contain mercury in the form of Thimerosal, are preferable.

Vitamin D remains important.  A recent article, available at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5541280/ , which appeared in the Journal of Preventive Medicine and Public Health in May 2017 suggests that the maintenance dose for adults should be 8000 Units per day, significantly higher than previous recommendations.

All my other prior suggestions regarding hygiene and common sense, good nutrition, etc., remain in place, and can be found in the flu article on my website.

I have been in homeopathic practice for 36 years, and for the first time I have reason to think that there may be a serious threat to the availability of homeopathic remedies themselves.  The situation is complicated, and this email I am asking you to send a personal letter or email to your elected representatives in Washington DC.

As many of you know, the federal Food and Drug Association (FDA), which is responsible for regulating the homeopathic manufacturing industry to ensure public safety, is proposing a dramatic revision to the “Compliance Policy Guide” which is a set of instructions and guidelines for its inspection teams and all staff members on how to assess and act regarding homeopathic medicines.

The old guide, which is went into effect 30 years ago, gave specific and useful guidelines that have provided an environment in which safety has been maintained at a very high level, and a stable market place enabled so that it is now possible to find homeopathic remedies at health-food and grocery stores and, more recently, at pharmacies like CVS, Walgreen’s etc.

But now, for unknown reasons, and despite two days of supportive testimony and a large submission of technical and scientific data which was submitted to the FDA, a new proposed Policy Guide will completely shift the FDA’s emphasis to enforcement of what it deems potentially dangerous.  Should it be approved, it will completely eliminate the specific guidance of the former document.    An overview of the new draft guidance (with links to the complete text), while apparently well-meaning, has already created problems in the marketplace.

The FDA is rightfully concerned that some homeopathic medicines marketed to the public have toxic starting materials (for example Belladonna, Gelsemium, Nux vomica, Aconite, and others).  But the FDA no longer has the “institutional knowledge” that enabled it to develop the old Policy Guide, and does not understand that because of the very nature of homoeopathic manufacture, the doses of toxic ingredients are well below established levels of toxicity.  By naming certain medicines in the new draft, large-scale retailers, wary of liability, are starting to question and may well stop stocking certain items, because of the perception that these medicines may become “illegal.”

Because these particular medicines are extremely useful in a wide variety of illnesses that can be used for self-treatment and sold in the “over-the-counter” market, their elimination would be a serious blow to consumers and to the economic viability of manufacturers participating in the US marketplace.

The current draft does not appear to have taken any account whatsoever of the comments and scientific data from the general public, homeopathic professionals, and industry obtained at or after the public hearing of 2015.

I have personally added comments to the public docket at https:// www.regulations.gov  (see also instructions for non-electronic submission).  The comment period has recently been extended to May 21st, 2018, so by all means please add your voice.  However, I no longer believe that this action is sufficient to deal with the potential threat.   

The homeopathic professional community, together with homeopathic manufacturers and others, including the National Center for Homeopathy, has been pursuing several strategies to deal with the situation.  After attending the Board of Directors and Annual Meeting of the Membership of the Homeopathic Convention of the United States (my 34th year with this group, which maintains and publishes the Homeopathic Pharmacopeia of the United States) I have learned that there is now outreach to the United States Congress.  This strategy is now seen as the most likely to succeed, in order to impress the political leadership of the FDA at their staff are taking actions which will actually make FDA’s job more difficult at the local level, thereby wasting human resources which could be better used for other more pressing issues, for a purpose which is not even justified in the first place.

The Homeopathic Pharmacopeia Convention has always reached out to the FDA to offer information, guidance, and education.  These efforts appeared to have borne fruit in 2015 and 2016 resulting in the FDA  sending two observers to sit in on committee meetings which were directly relevant to FDA’s mission.  But about 12-15 months ago this cooperation completely disappeared without notice.

Senator Orrin Hatch, of Utah, a long-time supporter of “alternative medicine” has graciously authored a letter to the head of the FDA, Scott Gottlieb MD in order to support our efforts.  Senator Bob Casey, of Pennsylvania, and 3 other Senators and 5 members of the House of Representatives have also signed on.  We are looking to at least double those numbers, and I am seeking your help.

While reputable homeopathic manufacturers and homeopathic practitioners have ABSOLUTELY NO ISSUE with the FDA’s role in ensuring public safety by carefully monitoring compliance with appropriate manufacturing standards, I personally feel that is important that FDA reclaim the institutional knowledge that will enable it to effectively perform its mission to protect the public safety.

Interestingly, Dan Michels, who was the head of the Compliance office at FDA when the prior Policy Guide was negotiated and who had that knowledge,  but who retired a number of years ago, was the last person to testify  at the 2015 public hearing.  He stated that the facts regarding homeopathy had not changed, and that there was no reason to change the policies put into place at that time.  By enlisting the support of Senators and Representatives at the nation’s capital, we hope to favorably influence the problems that we see and to move forward into a better relationship with the FDA.

So I am asking you to join with me in contacting your elected representatives in Washington DC.  When the voices of their constituents are received, it has much more impact than from other groups.  I have it on good authority that your email and/or letter will be read.

I am specifically asking you to write to both of your US Senators AND the Representative for your District to support these efforts.  I think that it is important to do as quickly as possible, in order to create a “crescendo” effect.

In the era of the internet, contacting your elected representatives has become straightforward.   For the purposes of this particular outreach, please use:  https://www.votervoice.net/AAHP/campaigns/57654/respond.  While the “boiler plate” suggested here seems good, it is always best to personalize it in some way.

If you have any questions regarding this outreach, please feel free the contact me.

Please feel free to  share this with anyone in the United States that you think might be interested.

Thank you for your help.

William Shevin MD, DHt.

 

A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine discussed various aspects of the Influenza immunization strategies.

The full article can be read here.

In summary, the current flu season in Australia has shown very poor protection from the current vaccine, with an estimated effectiveness of 10%.  That is well below the usual 40-60% effectiveness that is more typical.  The vaccine used in Australia is identical to the one being used currently in the United States.

Because the flu virus mutates readily, one cannot assume that our experience this winter will mirror that of Australia.  The article discusses various technical issues that are involved. Those issues are thought to be related to the “low effectiveness” of last year’s flu vaccine.

Please see my article on Influenza for other ways to improve your immune response.

Flu Season 2017-2018

November 28, 2017

Flu season is upon us, and the current data (up to November 18th) show that Massachusetts is showing “regional” outbreaks (just less than “widespread”). Otherwise it is mostly southern states that are showing significant activity.

 

Vitamin D, good hygiene, and common sense will go a long way.

 

Vaccination helps some people, but not well enough to rely upon to the exclusion of other measures.

 

For those of you using influenzinum, you may certainly begin.

 

More information, as usual, can be found on the Influenza article <https://www.drshevin.com/patient_education/disease_treatment/influenza/>

on my website.

This film has been shown extensively in Europe, and is just coming to North America.

The website for the film can be found here.  Showings are being organized by local supporters of homeopathy, and all showing are supposed to have someone available to answer questions.  To cover the expenses of showing the movie at a commercial cinema, a minimum number of tickets must be sold.  I have purchased more tickets than I can use in order to support the effort, and I am hoping to promote the film here and in my alerts system.

There will be two showings in Connecticut — one on October 16th, at the BowTie Cinema in New Haven.  For tickets, click here.  As of this writing, only 10 more tickets need to be purchased in order to guarantee the showing.

The other showing will be in Hartford, at the Palace 17 Cinema on October 26th.  For tickets, click here.  50 additional tickets will be needed to guarantee that session.

Unfortunately, homeopathy is under attack in a number of places in the world today, most notably in England and Australia.  There are troubling indications that the same thing is happening in the USA.  I hope that this film is seen by a wide audience.  Thank you for your support.