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 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 the forecast 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."
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.
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