Flu Watch - Winter 2002/3

presented by Domenick J. Masiello, D.O., D.Ht.

I am fairly confident that this information will be applicable nationwide and maybe even worldwide due to the large amount of international travel (influenza originates in Asia and travels west). I will update this as often as it becomes necessary during the winter.

Final update - March 2003



As usual it is much too early for flu in the Northeast United States and cases of viral syndromes have been light for the past 6 weeks. However, two distinct modalities have become evident so far this fall.

Arsenicum Album - this variant starts with fever, chills, body aches and quickly turns into a gastrointestinal nightmare with nausea, vomiting and often diarrhea at the same time. There is desire for hot drinks either before or after the vomiting has stopped and the need for fresh air .

Gelsemium - this type starts with a mild, scratchy throat, fever, some chills and a profound weariness complicated by body aches and headaches. The sore throat is short-lived (about 24 hours) and quickly transformed into a head cold with sinus congestion and/or a chest cold. There is little thirst either during of after the fever. So far there has emerged one sub-type of this Gelsemium cold and that is the Eupatorium Perfoliatum variety. This sub-type is further characterized by the dull, muscular pain settling in the eyes. The head pain is worse from just moving the eyes and there is little thirst.

Both these major types of viral syndromes can be rapidly ameliorated by the addition of Influenzinum Triple (Ainsworth). Give one dose of the 1M potency at the onset of the condition and then continue with whatever remedy fits the picture. This method was used by John Clarke for treating influenza and I have found it quite useful for these viral syndrome as well.


Additional Remedy: Influenzinum Triple

from Ainsworths


December has been continuation of the same patterns seen in October and November. The Gelsemium variation has been more common by a three to one ration over the Arsenicum Album variation. Actual influenza has not arrived yet this year. Patients who missed the window of opportunity being treated with Gelsemium have gone on to require several doses of Kali Bichromicum to help clear a persistent post nasal drip and a pharyngeal cough. Influenza Triple 1M (Ainsworth) works very well as a prophylactic this season's upper respiratory virus. Happy and Healthy Holidays.


Every so often, about every 10 years in my experience, there is no epidemicus remedy for winter viral syndromes. Such is the case right now. While there has been a continuation of the Arsenicum Album viral gastroenteritis with vomiting and diarrhea, Gelsemium has pretty much dropped out of the picture. In its place has come a wide variety of indicated remedies for sinusitis-pharyngitis-bronchitis-otitis. Remedies needed have Mercurius vivus (for otitis media with ruptured ear drum), Kali bichromicum, Bryonia, Lachesis, Sticta, Sulphur. In short there is currently no pattern and no actual influenza to speak of. Most likely another pattern will not emerge this winter so you must rely on your prescribing skills to get through to the spring. Good luck and good health!

(February - March)

The lack of an epidemicus remedy this winter continues. There have been many cases of viral, upper respiratory infections but no reliable pattern has emerged. Remedies being used in the past several weeks include Arsenicum Album, Gelsemium, Bryonia, Lachesis, Kali Bichromicum, and Rhus Tox. There have been some actual influenza cases: sore throat, runny nose, cough, high persistent fevers (up to 103 F), chills, body aches and profound prostration. Unfortunately, there are not enough cases to see a pattern. These influenza cases have responded to Arsenicum Album, Gelsemium, Belladonna, Lachesis and Arnica.


The World Health Organization has issued a health alert regarding Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. So far the cases have been limited to China, Vietnam,Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Philippines,and Singapore. In China there have been 305 cases reported with 5 fatalities recorded. Some cases have been reported in Canada in people returning from trips to Southeast Asia. There is not enough information available yet to even speculate what the homeopathic treatment might be. We do know that patients very rapidly develop a severe bilateral pneumonia, high fever, cough, difficulty breathing, headache, body aches and require being placed on a respirator. There is also a marked decrease in white blood cells and platelets. At present it is unknown if this atypical pneumonia is caused by a bacterium or a virus. This CDC link will help you stay advised of any new updates: http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/sars/

Please Note: I would add this caution - the epidemicus remedy will work when the condition is caught early. Neglected cases may require different remedies. Also, strep throat almost always rides along the influenza wave so a high fever with a sore throat should not be neglected.

Domenick J. Masiello, D.O., D.Ht.
420 East 51st Street
Suite B
New York, NY 10022
Phone 212-688-4818
Fax 212-888-6395