Leptospirosis is a severe and contagious bacterial infection of major importance in the tropics, particularly during the rainy season.
Researchers at the Finlay Institute, in Havana, Cuba, report the results of large-scale homeoprophylaxis against Leptospirosis (also known as Weil’s Disease) in a dangerous epidemic situation in 3 provinces of Cuba in 2007.
First, the details.
A homeoprophylactic formulation was prepared from dilutions of 4 circulating strains of Leptospirosis.
This formulation was administered by mouth to 2.3 million people at high risk for an epidemic in a region affected by natural disasters.
Forecast models were used to estimate possible trends of disease incidence.
Data from surveillance were used to measure the impact of the response to the homeoprophylactic to historical trends and regions where people received no treatment.
And, the results.
There was a significant decrease in disease incidence following homeoprophylaxis.
Within a few weeks the number of cases decreased from 38 to 4 cases per 100,000 per week, significantly fewer than the historically-based forecast for those weeks of the year.
The incidence of Leptospirosis was as forecast among the 8.8 million people from the other provinces where homeoprophylaxis wasn’t used.
The effect appeared to be sustained.
There was an 84% reduction in infection in the treated region the following year (2008).
For the first time, incidence did not correlate with rainfall.
In the same period, incidence in the untreated region increased 22%.
The bottom line?
The authors concluded, “The homeoprophylactic approach was associated with a large reduction of disease incidence and control of the epidemic.”
These findings suggest that large-scale homeoprophylaxis against Leptospirosis is feasible for epidemic control. More research is needed to confirm the results.
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John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.