A homoeopathic opinion on covid-19. ENG
Col(Hony) Dr Anil B Habbu
MD, DPH, MF Hom
Microbiological considerations :
Sars-CoV-2 is an RNA virus belonging to family Coronaviridae. So far seven viruses of Coronavirus family have been known to cause diseases in humans.
Human Coronavirus Types
There are four main sub-groupings of coronaviruses, known as alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. The seven coronaviruses that can infect people are:
Common human coronaviruses
229E (alpha coronavirus)
NL63 (alpha coronavirus)
OC43 (beta coronavirus)
HKU1 (beta coronavirus)
Other human coronaviruses
MERS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, or MERS)
SARS-CoV (the beta coronavirus that causes severe acute respiratory syndrome, or SARS)
SARS-CoV-2 (the novel coronavirus that causes coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID19)
People around the world commonly get infected with human coronaviruses 229E, NL63, OC43, and HKU1. These present as Sneezing, Coryza and Discharge.
Sars-CoV-2 is a virus that has affinity to both upper and lower respiratory tract. However upper respiratory tract symptoms like coryza and sneezing have been unusual in this pandemic. This is the first clue to the possible homoeopathic remedy. The absence of discharges in an infection from a virus that belongs to a group that classically presents as common cold and coryza.
Clinical presentation :
Majority present with a self-limiting flu like illness with fever, headache, myalgias etc.
Progression over few days to an ARDS like picture with Type 1 respiratory failure in a minority of cases.
Rarely, there is a viral myocarditis resulting in cardiogenic shock and collapse.
Incidence of encephalopathy, hepatic dysfunction and renal failure are low.
Homoeopathic analysis :
This is a theoretical analysis based on symptoms gathered by me from various sources. These include published literature, and discussions with intensivists and homoeopathic colleagues who have seen and examined patients of Covid 19.
It is an acute to sub-acute flu. The onset is not violent.
The fever is often high grade, continued.
Perspiration is profuse, some patients report agg from and others amel from.
Extreme prostration. Patient is too weak to brush, eat or talk. In some cases, too weak to sleep.
Faintness on standing. Collapse.
Persistent myalgias. Calf pain.
Electric shock like pain in various parts of body, especially during sleep Insatiable appetite. All gone sensation in stomach.
Or loss of appetite.
Alteration in taste and smell function.
Dyspnoea on least exertion.
Bilateral lung infiltrates.
Lying ameliorates, especially on back.
This is a flat repertorisation approach, that I do not do, recommend or teach very often. I have appended it here only for reference. The Materia medica is far more important. The absence of discharges that should normally have been present, amelioration from elimination (urination), insatiable hunger, electric shock like sensations, faintness on standing, dryness of mouth and emptiness of stomach in fever clearly lead us to Zincum.
Zincum metallicum from J H Clarke : "Brass-founders ague," which is supposed to be due to inhalation of Zinc fumes, begins with malaise and feeling of constriction across the chest, nausea occasionally, the symptoms occurring in after part of day are followed in evening at bed-time by shivering, sometimes by an indistinct hot stage, but always by profuse sweating; the worse the sweating, the less violent the attack; attacks always irregular.
Brass-founders ague is due to inhalation of zinc, zinc oxide and predominantly zinc chloride fumes. We must go deeper into the toxicology of these substances. Smaller remedies are less well represented in the repertory as well as the Materia medica.
Zinc chloride toxicology reports
Zinc chloride inhalation from smoke screen generators or smoke bombs may cause transient cough, sore throat, hoarseness, a metallic taste and chest pain. Exposure to high zinc chloride concentrations produces a chemical pneumonitis with marked dyspnoea, a productive cough, fever, chest pain and cyanosis. Pneumothorax and the adult respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) have been reported. Fatalities have occurred (Hjortsœ et al, 1988)
One of the typical features of ZnCl inhalation is the lag period of 8-10 days or more between exposure and severe respiratory failure, a pace of disease as is seen clinically in this pandemic.
Zincum muriaticum from J H Clarke :
Chloride of Zinc
Characteristic symptom is the perversion of smell and taste.
Breathing difficult, thoracic, rapid.
Fever, alternation of cold and heat
So while Zincum metallicum seems to be a close remedy, Zincum muriaticum has the peculiar symptom of perversion of smell and taste and has the ARDS picture documented in the toxicology reports ( metal fume fever / smoke bomb ), which resembles the presentation of Covid 19 very closely.
On the basis of the homoeopathic analysis of symptoms of Covid 19 and an understanding of the toxicology data, it is my theoretical proposition that Zincum muriaticum seems to be the most suited homoeopathic remedy. On evaluation of the singular individual case under treatment, if the symptoms agree and there are no overwhelming arguments for other remedies, then I would certainly recommend that Zincum Muriaticum be prescribed. Potency is a matter of eternal debate in homoeopathy, maybe we could start with c200. Frequency of dosing will have to be decided as per the individual case.
Homoeopathic medicine could be administered concurrently with standard of care treatment.
Col (Hony) Dr Anil B. Habbu