The objective of the current study was to find out whether the homoeopathic medicine Arsenicum alb 30C triggered the upregulation of CD4, CD3, CD8 and Lymphocyte profiles of individuals affected with subjective distress due to COVID-19 pandemic in Kerala
The COVID-19 is an epidemic illness caused by SARS-CoV-2 with high reproducibility rate. The infection was first reported at Wuhan provincial of China in December, 2019.
The reproducibility rate of COVID-19 is very high as 2.28  and a considerably less mortality rate of 3.6 %. The infection becomes more fatal to those who are having major systemic illnesses and low immune profiles. Since there are no specific interventions available for COVID-19, the management is based on symptoms of the patient and preventive measures. Intervention strategies aiming to upregulate the immune status of the general population and those who are at risk are highly welcomed and need of the hour. Homoeopathy and homoeopathic medicines serve the suffering humanity at this point. Homoeopathic medicines can be employed as preventive medicines (Genus Epidemicus) and as an immune booster for those participants who are under threat of an epidemic or a pandemic.
The genus epidemicus is a homoeopathic medicine selected on the basis of the working case definition developed after studying the symptoms of the cases presented with the epidemic illness. The selected medicine can be administered as a preventive medicine as it will upregulate the immunity of the individuals against the prevailing epidemic outbreak. In the current episode of COVID-19 pandemic, the homoeopathic medicine Arsenicum alb 30C is selected as the genus epidemicus after an extensive review. It was hypothesised that, Arsenicum alb 30C will upregulate the immune markers of the individuals. The immune profile was explained by the serum absolute counts of CD4, CD3, CD8 and Lymphocyte.
The COVID-19 infection causes subjective distress among people who reside in hot spot areas and the subjective distress causes a decrease in the level of immunity which can be measured as lowered absolute counts in CD4, CD3, CD8 and lymphocytes. The homoeopathic medicines were given to those individuals who reside in hot spot areas, with high subjective distress and low immune profiles and a study was conducted to investigating the efficacy of these medicines for upregulating the immunity status of the individuals.
The study was conducted at Pathanamthitta district of Kerala state. The study consisted of two phases; an exploratory (phase-1) and an experimental (phase-2). The phase-1 of the study was aimed to find out whether the subjective distress was present among people residing at hot spots areas.
The experimental phase was conducted using one group before/after design. Twenty participants were selected after an initial screening using Impact of Events Scale-Revised (IES- R) . The IES-R score 24 and above were diagnosed as having subjective distress, and IES-R score 37 were considered as high subjective distress enough to trigger low immune profile. The serum CD4, CD3, CD8 and Lymphocyte counts of the participants were estimated and absolute CD4 count was fixed at 852 for males and 995 for females as the baseline . The purposive sampling method was used for sample selection. After the screening procedures, 16 participants were eligible as samples and 4 participants were excluded as they were having absolute CD4 count above the baseline.
Summary and Conclusion
The major objective of the study was to find out the efficacy of Arsenicum album 30C for upregulating the immunological markers among residents of COVID-19 related hot spots in Pathanamthiatta district of Kerala state. The study found out that, the potentized homoeopathic medicine, Arsenicum album 30C is effective for upregulating the immunological mark- ers such as absolute CD4 count, absolute CD8 count, absolute CD3 count, absolute lymphocyte count and CD4:CD8 ratio among the residents of COVID-19 related hot spots. It also found that, COVID-19 pandemic has created different levels of subjective distress as a result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at residents of hot spot areas in Kerala. The study recommends that, the homoeopathic medicine, Arsenicum album 30C can be used as a preventive and as an immune booster against COVID-19 prophylaxis in the state. It can be also employed as a medicine in the COVID-19 First Line Treatment Centres (CFLTC) in the state.
- High level of subjective distress in the form of PTSD was observed among individuals residing at COVID-19 related hot spot areas.
- Low level absolute CD4 count was observed among both males and females with high level of subjective distress among individuals residing at COVID-19 related hot spot areas.
- The homoeopathic medicine Arsenicum album 30C is effective for upregulating immune status of individuals residing at COVID-19 related hot spots.
- There were significant differences observed among absolute Lymphocyte count, absolute CD4 count, absolute CD3 count and absolute CD8 counts with individuals residing at COVID-19 related hot spots after homoeopathic intervention.
The COVID-19 was declared as a pandemic illness which is considered as a biological disaster. The disasters cause physical, psychological, social and economic impacts upon the individuals who encounter it as victims or witnesses. It causes subjective distress which can alter the immune functioning of an individual. Low immunity resulting from acute stress or subjective distress related to COVID- 19 make the individuals more susceptible to catch the infection more easily. So, interventions that help to maintain the immune status of the individuals would have been beneficial to prevent further spreading of the disease.
The study concluded that the homoeopathic medicine Arsenicum album 30 C is found effective for upregulating the immune markers and thereby maintaining the immunity of individuals with COVID-19 related subjective distress. The Arsenicum album 30C is an ultra-high diluted (potentized) preparation and hence adverse effects are not observed.