Case of a girl aged 15 months who contracted pertussis while undergoing homeoprophylaxis.
Keywords: Disease outbreak, Additional doses, Whooping cough
The issues of reliability and ‘protection’ are the main concerns of parents who seek out HP. We can share clinical evidence going back to Hahnemann of individuals who did not contract disease during an outbreak when treated prophylactically. Isaac Golden’s books: The Complete Practitioner’s Manual of Homeoprophylaxis, and Vaccination and Homeoprophylaxis: A Review of Risks and Alternatives 7th edition, are imperative reading for practitioners. In these works Golden provides essential data for parents seeking hard evidence. Yet even with this clinical evidence of efficacy, it is important to communicate with parents that no method of immunization is 100%, and that extra steps may also be required when choosing HP during a local outbreak.
I encountered this first-hand in the winter of 2015 with a family whose young daughter- about 15 months- contracted pertussis after having at least one round of triple 10M doses of Pertussin. In the regular program the series of nosodes starts with a single dose of 200, followed a month later by a series of three doses in 24 hours (triple dose). After completed all disease nosodes in the program at the 200C level the series is repeated with a triple dose of the 10M. The 200C potency is to prime the system and then a year of more later, after the first series is completed, the 10M deepens the immunological effect.
Pertussis had been circulating in the community. We had adjusted the suggested HP schedule once to make sure that the child received a triple 10M dose the first time there was a known outbreak in her community. The parents asked me- is she protected? Looking at Isaac Golden’s numbers, I felt fairly confident that her exposure to the remedy would help her to repel the disease, but I read that he also recommended a supplemental dosing procedure (see page 123 The Complete Practitioner’s Manual). I reached out to my supervisor, Cilla Whatcott, for help in managing the situation. She in turn checked in with Dr. Golden who confirmed that during a local outbreak, twice weekly doses of 200c should be given for 2 weeks. His email read as follows:
“So I would say that IF there is likely to be a repeated level of exposure then a booster is very indicated.
We have examples lately in Australia (where whooping cough is surging again) where HP has failed, and it has always been in situations where parents didn’t follow the recommendations with the Supplementary Program.”
(The program Golden offers to parents differs slightly from that offered by Free and Health Children International. Golden has a ‘Main Program’ which covers five most potentially serious diseases and then a ‘Supplemental Program’ which recommends boosters for the main disease remedies, as well as remedies for five additional diseases less serious and less prevalent. In this case, referring to the ‘Supplemental Program’ means the booster doses. The FHCi program is one program with eight remedies.)
This was an important point for me, as a homeopathic practitioner, to understand. Although the data showed a 90% effectiveness rate for those exposed, he clearly stated that there were failures in the program if the additional doses were not given.
In my initial meetings with parents who wanted to enroll their children in HP, I shared Golden’s data and explained clearly that no method of protection was 100%, rather we were educating the immune system with HP dosing. Those individuals who contracted the illness despite having taken the nosode often had mild, sub-clinical cases. I had not, however, been clear about the need for additional dosing in the event of an outbreak- possibly because of the difference in how the Australian program (two groups of remedies) and the FHCi program (one group) are organized.
Emphasizing the supplemental dosing has become an important point of emphasis in meetings with parents following this experience. It is also a departure from what is expected of the standard vaccine schedule: inject and forget about it. HP is an ‘active’ process. It may be that there is exposure that was never known or responded to, with no symptoms ever developing- a case of ‘you don’t know what you don’t know.’ Golden’s effectiveness rates of 90% are verifiable because of reports of HP children using the program appropriately through known outbreaks.1 The Supplemental dosing is an essential part of that 90% effectiveness rate. If we do not communicate clearly to parents that supplemental dosing is essential during outbreaks and exposure, it may be assumed that the regular dosing is enough. We risk ‘failure’ with the program as Isaac Golden stated in his email response to my client’s situation.
In the end, we suspect the young girl did contract whooping cough though we also did the supplementary dosing. When she was taken to her pediatrician, however, he did not recommend a pertussis test because he didn’t think she had it! Her cough and symptoms were mild, but consistent with pertussis and she responded beautifully to homeopathic Drosera. She only missed three days of school. No hundred-days cough as it would have been if left untreated!
I considered this a win- and a win in an important way. Maybe even more important than if she had not contracted the illness at all. The case illustrated what we expect- that if the individual is to contract the disease after HP dosing it will be less severe than if they had not taken anything, and the homeopathic remedy will help the vital force pull through with relative ease. This was the case here, and the parents were pleased and confident that HP was the right choice for their child.
 Golden, Dr. Isaac. “Homeoprophylaxis – A Fifteen Year Clinical Study: A Statistical Review of the Efficacy and Safety of Long-Term Homeoprophylaxis.” Isaac Golden Publications. Gisborne. Vic. 2004.