Thursday, February 4, 2016

Zika virus infection 2015-16 Epidemic


Zika virus infection 2015-16 Epidemic
January 2016 Update
Paul Herscu, ND, MPH
Herscu Laboratory

 
We have just passed over a milestone that I want to highlight, to place the discussion about Zika virus in a very important context. We have just had a twelfth case of Zika virus infection diagnosed in the USA. This number is significant to me, since it is exactly one more patient than the total number of Ebola virus disease (EVD) patients to have hit USA soil from the Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak in Western Africa. That number includes those who developed EVD in Africa and were transported here and those who fell ill from human transmission inside the USA.
I believe it is of upmost importance to place any discussion of Zika virus infection within an EVD context for a variety of reasons. When I commented on EVD, both in this Blog  and in the Webinar I presented on Viruses, I made some very strong comments and predictions. These were based on tracking viral infection outbreaks and epidemics around the worlds for several decades.
One point I highlighted was as we look at the history of our species and its effect on other species on this planet one thing becomes clear. As we have explored, conquered, inhabited and thrived in a variety of environments around the planet, when we found a species that was large-toothed, venomous, and scary, we would try to destroy it, driving the species towards extinction. We feel more comfortable when they are not threatening us. Right or wrong this is what we have done. And as we have begun to feel more comfortable in our surroundings, we began to look more closely at what may be the new scary things to our species–germs, bacteria and viruses. And as our technology has gotten better, cheaper, more accurate and specific, we are better able to isolate an ever-increasing diverse microcosm, both outside and inside of our bodies. In short, we have relearned that we are not alone. And again, reflexively, we are frightened. An added fear is the continued realization that an ever-larger number of bacteria become scarier as we encourage their evolution with and toward antibiotic resistance.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak - #6

Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak
May 5, 2015 Update #6
Paul Herscu, ND, DHANP, MPH
Herscu Laboratory

VERY NEARLY THERE

Well, it is my birthday today and I decided to treat myself to the birthday gift of writing this update. I am going to keep this short. Back in September, and again in October I wrote that by May 2015 we are going to have Ebola free countries in West Africa, assuming that there are no major cuts in funding. Elsewhere, in webinars on epidemics, I highlighted the different treatment protocols in the different countries, and that all things being equal some countries are going to fare better than other countries. The bottom line though was that by the start of 2015 the disease would become localized and that with all resources effectively brought to bear, Guinea should be clear except for some localized areas and Liberia would be Ebola free sometime in May. Well, if my math is right, by the end of the week, Liberia will be announced as being Ebola free, crossing our fingers still. This leaves two countries with local outbreaks.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Genus Epidemicus for Current URI - Update #1

December 23, 2014

Hi Everyone,

I hope all is well with you and yours. This is a quick note about the current upper respiratory tract infections in North America and Europe. 

Without getting into a very long description, and without describing the full case of constitutional homeopathy, case taking, case analysis, etc., it seems as though the current genus epidemicus is Lycopodium

This is regardless of the actual bug. I have seen the very young with right sided otitis media, teenagers with right sided sore throats, middle aged people with bronchitis and influenza, and older folks with bronchitis. In each case the patient was either someone who needed Lycopodium constitutionally and got sick while staying in their constitution, or else someone who went into a Lycopodium acute. 

I am sending this quick note because as a rule most of their complaints were not obviously pointing to this remedy. Therefore, I am sending this to just ask you to take a look at the remedy as a possibility, if you are either confused by the case, or if things are not progressing as they should. I am aware that historically, homeopaths considered the genus epidemicus for just one bug at one time. Again, my goal is not to discuss this topic here, as it is too lengthy, but just to highlight this remedy. 

Good luck, Paul

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak - #5


Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak
October 31, 2014 Update #5
Paul Herscu, ND, DHANP, MPH
Herscu Laboratory

DON’T PANIC! WE’RE NEARLY THERE (FOR THE DEVELOPED WORLD, AT LEAST)

I would like to begin with the main points. First, it should become clearer that neither North America, nor Europe nor the majority of Africa will have an epidemic of EVD, so that chatter will stop. Second, it should shortly become obvious to everyone that the viral transmission has not become airborne, and that confusion will stop as well. And third, it’s becoming clearer that the reasons things got so bad in the first place have to do with poor health care infrastructure, rather than the virus itself. Sadly this widespread problem is deep and wide and will need our attention for years to come.

Many countries are negotiating around quarantine versus isolation versus quarantine in place versus revoking travel permits. This is true in Africa where many countries have forbidden travel into their countries for those arriving from impacted countries; Australia took the most extreme version similar to the advice I last posted, i.e., no one from an effected country allowed in unless they have completed a 21 day quarantine in the country of origin.  In the USA the military has taken a similar approach and in our civil society there has been much debate and evolution of rules. What is clear is that as the majority of ban of travel is in force around the world, travel on public transportation and in public areas is now forbidden in most every place, and given the timing of developing the infection and given the vigilance in place, I now consider this potential epidemic over for most of the world. 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak - #4


Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak
October 26, 2014 Update #4
Paul Herscu, ND, DHANP, MPH
Herscu Laboratory

DON’T PANIC! (Part 2)

We have a physician living in New York testing positive for Ebolavirus Disease (EVD) after doing great, important, inspiring work in Africa. The fear this brings up in New York makes me write sooner than later. In short, even in New York, DON’T PANIC.  It is incredibly unlikely that you will ever meet anyone who had EVD or that you will catch it.

I have had requests, for a few months now, to discuss the homeopathic management of Ebolavirus Disease. And what may seem odd is that while I have written about treatments over the past decades, discussing very specific remedies at different stages of epidemic diseases, I have not done so this time around. You may wonder why? And since I know that folks at the CDC read this, I thought I would elaborate and make further suggestions here.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak - #3


Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak
October 16, 2014 Update #3
Paul Herscu, ND, DHANP, MPH
Herscu Laboratory

DON’T PANIC!
When you turn on the news just now, there is a great deal of media attention on the Ebolavirus outbreak. And as importantly, there is a sort of hysteria in the general public, as well as in the healthcare community, including those in CAM. In this recent Kaiser poll about half of all Americans believe their family is at risk of contracting Ebola. ( http://tinyurl.com/ol6xr57)
Let me say here clearly, that unless something unusual occurs such as 1) a change in the transmission mode, as in it becoming airborne (which is a difficult thing to happen and despite what some at CDC and in the government have said, has absolutely NOT happened. Ebolavirus has not become airborne. They are wrong here, but will explain their mistake in the next post), 2) a change in vectors, as in animals that have yet to transmit to humans, and/or 3) a change in incubation time, as in a lengthening of incubation time while still being contagious (which both may be difficult to occur at the same time), there will NOT be an epidemic in the USA, in North America, or in Europe. Nor will there be a greatly widening epidemic within Africa itself. And as shocking as it seems to you just now, the average person will hardly, sadly, think about it by the end of the year. I have tried to say this in a variety of ways, but I thought I would say it again here. In essence people are worrying about the wrong thing, the wrong epidemic, the wrong focus. I hope that by reading these communiqu├ęs, you will be better prepared to handle the media, assess the information you hear, and not become overly anxious because of hyped up media offerings. As promised, I wanted to discuss treatments that occur at this time. 

As mentioned in the first post, aside from treatment aimed at supportive care, we have at least two major pathways for treatmentantivirals and plasma products. While no drug is yet approved, there are a host of medications being tested. 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak - #2


Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak
October 13, 2014 Update #2
Paul Herscu, ND, MPH
Herscu Laboratory

It has been 2 weeks since I posted September Ebolavirus 2014 Outbreak, comments and outlook; a great deal has taken place since then. If you have not already read the original post, please take time to read as this update elaborates upon that original post.
My central goal in presenting these comments and outlooks is to create a framework that allows future information to be properly analyzed and placed within a realistic context. In so doing, it allows us to better predict future events. In short, having a structure enables future findings, future investigations, and thereby future actions to more appropriately match needs on the ground. We have had a case spread in the USA and a case spread in Spain. However, by clearly understanding the situation, we can limit anxiety for everyone, while we create a pathway for action. So, with that in mind, let’s dive into where we are as of now, working off of my original post, taking topic areas one at a time, and seeing how more or less we are right on target.