Government agencies and media have recently been focused on the possibility of a worldwide pandemic that could kill between 5 million and 150 million people. The last such pandemic was the 1918 Influenza epidemic, in which 30-40% of those who acquired the disease died. That was an influenza virus that derived from birds, so it is natural to pay attention to the current H5N1 strain that has crossed over into human birdhandlers in Asia. So far there is no evidence of transmission from human to human, which would be required to produce a pandemic.

The challenge to the allopathic system is that solutions will turn out to be too slow for the potential infectivity and lethality of the virus. “Experts” say that Tamiflu is likely to be the best antiviral drug, but it has not been tested against the current virus even in birds — only in similar Influenza A and B viruses. Moreover, vaccines take 4 to 8 months to develop and longer to mass produce and market. Companies are promising 3 to 4 months, but even that would be useful only to healthcare people.

The first thing to remember is that there is no evidence as yet of a lethal strain. Mutations are random, so it is impossible to predict when it might cross over into humans, or how strong or weak it might be, what vaccine or drugs might work.

If a pandemic does happen, the best treatment will prove to be homeopathy. This is because the homeopath does not need to have a diagnosis or know the cause. It works by stimulating the body to heal itself, so all we need are individualized symptoms.

An example can be seen in the actual 1918-19 Influenza Pandemic. Published reports from Health Departments in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Ohio showed 24,000 cases treated allopathically had a mortality rate of 28.2%.

Simultaneously, 26,000 cases were treated homeopathically with a mortality rate of only 1.05%.

When I first embarked on homeopathy, I met a pathologist who had been in the San Francisco Health Department. He published similar results. 40% of patients admitted to allopathic hospitals died. In all of the homeopathic practices in the Bay Area (about 3,000 cases total, as I recall), there was only one death.

In my first year of practice, I saw a miniature version of the same experience. I was working at Kaiser and only beginning my homeopathic studies. There was a flu epidemic that had an inevitable two-week course. At Kaiser, I could only tell people to take plenty of fluids, rest, and be patient. For those who were open to it, I gave remedies after work hours based on unique homeopathic symptoms. Of 40 patients, 37 were well in 24 hrs. The remaining 3 all lived in the same household which I found was permeated with heavy amounts of mothballs (a known antidote to remedies).

What would be the homeopathic approach to Avian Flu? It is not possible to predict which remedies would be needed in advance. We will need a few cases, preferably interviewed by a homeopath but likely adequate if described in detailed allopathic literature. We will find one or a few remedies from which to differentiate.

In case of a pandemic, I would probably train a few lay people to take cases so they can prescribe based on individualizing symptoms. Each interview would take just moments and cost little.

Meanwhile, I see little value in stocking up Tamiflu or other antiviral drugs nor in taking a vaccine for which there has not been adequate testing for effectiveness or safety.