• INFLUENZA

    (Latin, Influence, thought to be due to the stars.)
    Synonyms: Russian Fever. La Grippe of the. French, so nicknamed on account of the severe hold it takes of the victim.

    Definition: Influenza is an acute infectious viral disease, characterized by fever, severe body-ache, coryza, sore throat and severe prostration.

    Historical Note:

    True influenza is a pandemic disease which has swept over the civilized world at irregular intervals for the last four hundred years. According to WiIson (Pepper’s System of Medicine) there are records of a few epidemics now supposed to have been influenza dating back to the ninth century. Most of the epidemics about which there can be no question have started in Russia or the far East, and have spread rapidly throughout eastern and western Europe, and thence to America. The last great epidemic reached the United States during the winter of 1889-90. This was followed by a milder outbreak the next winter. Since then there have been sporadic cases every year, with a few mild general epidemics.

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    ETIOLOGY 
    Distribution:
    Worldwide.
    Season: Cold months.
    Causative organism: Influenza virus.
    Source: Human naso-pharyngeal secretions.
    Transmission: By droplet infection.
    Predisposing causes: Poor resistance, overwork,, malnourìshment, overcrowding and poor sanitation.
    Incubation period: 1-3 days.

    Bacteriology:

    In 1892, R. Pfeiffer isolated a specific bacillus which has since been known as the bacillus influenza, or the bacillus of Pfeiffer. These are very small, with rounded ends and of varying length, sometimes growing into long forms, more or less bent or curved. (Wright and Mallory). They stain more deeply at the ends than in the middle.

    CLINICAL FEATURES
    Symptoms
    Duration:
    7 days.

    Onset: Sudden. .
    Fever: Moderate to high with chills.

    • Headache
    • Bodyache
    • Bone pains.
    • Profound prostration.
    • Coryza.
    • Sore throat.
    • Cough, with or without exjectoration.
    • Lachrymation.
    • Anorexia.
    • Nausea.
    • Vomiting.

    SIGNS
    Face:
    flushed.

    Eyes: congested.
    Throat: congested.
    Temperature: 38 °C – 41 O
    Pulse: Relative bradycardia.

    COMPLICATIONS

    • Tracheitis, bronchitis, bronchjolitis, and pneumonia.
    • Otitis media.
    • Post influenzal asthenia.
    • Post influential depression.

    Rare: Post influential dernyelinating encephalopathy.

    • POst influential penpheral neuropathy.
    • Toxic Cardiomyopathy leading to sudden death.

    INVESTIGATIONS
    Blood:
    TLC: Leucopenia.

    PROGNOSIS
    Good.

    GENERAL MANAGEMENT
    Complete bed rest during fever. In elderly patients convalescence may be prolonged. Plenty of fluids should be given to the patient. Well balanced, nutritive and easily digestible diet should be given.

    PROPHYLACTIC MEASURES
    Immediate:

    • Isolation. Avoid crowded places during epidemics, like cinema hall, school, etc.
    • Hygienic disposal of infected secretions.

    Long term:

    • Immunisation.
    • Improve general health.

    HOMOEOPATHIC TREATMENT

    Aconite: Precipitated by exposure to dry cold air, or chilling of body when warm and sweaty. Chilliness. Redtiess of the face. Pressing headache. Anxiety and restlessness. Skin dry, violent thirst, full bounding pulse. Sweating relieves (Allium cepa) Profuse catarrhal coryza. Sneezing , running nose and irritative cough. Face is swollen and looks inflamed.

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    Arsenicum Album: Copious flow, prostration and paroxysmal coryza. There iz burning copious watery and excoriating secretion. Thirst for a small quantity of water. Acrid coryza dropping from the tip of the nose. Headache; worse from heat, better from cold applications. Better in the warmth of the bed. Great restlessness, anxiety worse at night. Langour and excessive exhaustion.

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    Belladonna: General dry heat with chills. Little or no thirst. Cold extremities and hot head. Throbbing headache. Eyes red and glistening. The skin is hot and burning, the heat seems to steam out from the body. Fever in worse at night and may follow by sweat, which bring no relief

    Bryonia Alba: Extreme pain in the body. Patient lies quietly as any movement makes him worse. Headache is intense, as if the head would burst at the temples. Sharp pains over the eyes, faintness on rising up. Mouth is dry, and tongue coated white in the middle. Thirst for large quantities of water at long. intervals. Dryness of mucous membranes, with constipation.

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    Camphora: Sufficient at the outset to cut short an attack or at least modify the severity.  

    Dulcamara: Precipitated by exposure to damp and cold weather. One of the best remedies for the acute cases. Eyes; suffused, throat is sore. Cough hurts and there muscular soreness.

    Eupatorium Perfoliatum : The bone pains in the back, wrists and ankles. Eye balls with soreness and aching all over < on turning. Nausea and vomiting with great debility. Hoarseness and cough. Coryza with thirst. Drinking causes vomiting. Cough; shattering, hurts the head and chest, the patient holds the chest with the hands.

    Gelsemium: Dizzy drowsy and dull. Fever is mild. Cough is hard and painful. Paroxysms of sneezing. Exhaustion with muscle ache throughout the body. Chills up and down the spine. Wants to lie down and go to sleep. Pressing headache across forehead and back of head. Better by lying down and head held high.

    Rhus Toxicodendron: Flu precipitated by overexertion or getting cold and wet. Extreme muscular pains and aches, with stiffness. A constant desire to stretch and move around to find a comfortable place. The cough is worse evenings and is caused by. a tickling behind the upper part of the sternum. Restlessness and anxiety. Worse in the staying in one position for long, cold bath, or cold application. Better; stretching or continuous movement, heat, or warm application. 

    Sabadilla: Sneezing and lachrymation

    Sticta Pulmonaria: Running nose and watering eyes. Hoarseness of voice. Frontal headache. Incessant wearing and racking cough.

    POST INFLUENZAL ASTHENIA

    Abrotanum: Great weakness after influenza. (Boericke)

    Avena Sativa: Best tonic for debility after exhausting diseases. Use material doses.

    Kali Phosphoricum: Post influential prostration. Mental and physical depression. Weak and tired. Especially adapted to young.

    Salicylic Acid: Prostration after influenza. (Boericke)

    Phosphorus: Very useful for the debility following la grippe It is great post influenza “tonic” for asthenia, as it js usually of the pure nervous type.

    Prophylactic
    Influenzinum: A isopathic specific nosode.

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    4 thoughts on “INFLUENZA

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      • Ted says:

        Aaah rats! Just in time for the weekend. These bugs know how to pick their mmnoets.I hope you feel better soon – just rest as much as you can and let your hubby take care of the kids.

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      • Surbhi says:

        Feel better! The flu’s stiratng to go around here, and I’ve been running around trying to help my friends with sub plans the last two days. I’m hopeful that nobody else will get sick, but I have this vision of me being the only healthy teacher left in my department, since I was the only one who could get the vaccine. (Yes, I know that’s not a guarantee that I’ll stay healthy!)