The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

    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.

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Homeoprophylaxis success in Cuba

    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.

    Comments, pro and con, can be found at these sites.

    8/11/10 18:11 JR

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