You've probably seen the numbers on the hand, foot and mouth disease epidemic in China. The number of those affected has reached 15,000 and is climbing.
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is a common illness of children 10 and younger. The main symptoms are fever, mouth sores, and a blistery rash. It can begin with low appetite, sore throat, feeling sick, and a low fever. Painful mouth sores usually develop 1-2 days after the fever begins. These small red spots often blister and then become ulcerated. They can be on the gums, inside the cheeks, or on the tongue. The itchless skin rash is found on the palms and soles, sometimes the buttocks. Someone with HFMD may only have the mouth sores or the rash and not any of the other symptoms.
HFMD is a viral disease, often confused with foot and mouth disease that sheep, pigs, and cattle get (it is not the same). Normally this is not a serious disease in that patients usually recover without medical treatment in 7-10 days. HFMD is spread by contacting fluids from the nose, mouth, or blisters and from stool. There is no transmission to or from animals. Illness usually starts 3-7 days after becoming infected. The first week is the most contagious time.
There is no conventional treatment or prevention of HFMD. Good hygiene definitely helps limit the spread of the disease.
Homeopathic medicine 'cut its teeth' so to speak with epidemic illnesses. Samuel Hahnemann and homeopathy became well known with his highly successful treatment of scarlet fever epidemics. Yellow fever, cholera, and typhoid epidemics also were successfully treated. The great flu pandemic of 1918 is probably the largest epidemic successfully treated. American hospital and newspaper records show the mortality rate of the homeopathic doctors being 1-3%, while the mortality rate of the conventional doctors was 25-30% or higher.
Taking the characteristic symptoms of the patient with hand, foot and mouth disease a homeopath then matches those symptoms to a particular homeopathic medicine. The more specific and accurate the symptom description by the patient, the better the homeopathic remedy selection by the homeopath. It is even possible to prescribe prophylactically to non-sick members of a household, when the first case appears. As homeopathic medicines are inexpensive and easily dispensed, and patient compliance is usually very high, they lend themselves well to epidemics such as the one currently happening in China.
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