"The argument that parents should vaccinate their children to
protect society as a whole from epidemics does not make sense"
"Whooping cough" can be quite a nasty and prolonged illness, even in older children, in whom it is seldom fatal or dangerous. It can certainly threaten life in young infants under one year of age, because of the narrowness of the immature laryngeal opening and its particular vulnerability to obstruction from any inflammation or swelling. It is rarely serious in children older than six; and adults, for some reason, rarely contract the illness at all, even when they are exposed and have never had it before.
The incubation period varies from one to two weeks; and the illness often begins quite slowly, with some fever, typical upper respiratory symptoms, and a cough that gradually becomes more and more paroxysmal, until the characteristic spasms appear, often terminating in vomiting or tenacious sputum ejected with great violence. Such a cough may commonly persist for six weeks or even longer, suggesting an autoallergic as well as an infectious origin.
The nosode Pertussin, prepared from the sputum of patients with this disease, is the homeopathic remedy generally used for prophylaxis of exposed children (Pertussin 30c, one dose daily for two weeks after contact); and it can also be given in early stages of illness, at four-hour intervals. Drosera is the remedy most often used for the illness itself, although other remedies may also be needed. For children with a well developed cough, Drosera 30c or Pertussin 30c may be given every four hours, or even more often if necessary. A physician should be consulted if the illness is severe.
Homeopathic remedies are available without prescription, but care should be exercised to obtain them from a manufacturer belonging to the American Association of Homeopathic Pharmacies. This way, you will know that they have been prepared in accordance with the standards of the U.S. Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia.
Diphtheria is rarely seen today in developed countries, but small outbreaks have occurred in the southwestern U.S. (San Antonio in 1977). The illness is primarily a poisoning attributable to the toxin (a highly antigenic protein of high molecular weight) elaborated by the diphtheria bacillus. Diphtheria toxin is the source from which the standard vaccine is prepared (diphtheria "toxoid" is the toxin denatured by heat, alum precipitated? and preserved with an organomercury compound), and is also the source of the homeopathic remedy, or nosode, Diphtherinum, which is commonly used for prophylaxis and for treatment of complicated cases.
Diphtheria begins as a "cold" or sore throat after a very brief incubation period of two or three days. The primary infection is usually in the throat or nasopharynx, and quickly becomes apparent with a greyish, ulcerating "pseudomembrane," foul breath, high fever, and marked swelling of the cervical Iymph nodes (producing the classic "bull neck" in severe cases). Complications such as heart or kidney failure or esophageal obstruction may follow within a few days; and severe cases may be accompanied by difficulty in swallowing or talking, due to residual postdiphtheritic paralysis that may require further treatment. Diphtherinum 30c or 200c may be given in a daily dose for the first three days following exposure. A physician should be consulted and other remedies used if the illness develops.