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Fever is a Friend

In keeping with a ‘taste’ of the Vaccine Free: Now What? 12-week e-course, today is all about fever.

Fever as Friend not Foe

In preparation for the global autism symposium (my reason for being in California), I learned even more about fever. Information is there on the Internet and often, as busy parents, you just do not have the time to pull it all together when outbreaks like measles or mumps happen. Then the media steps in and sets parents and families into camps of either for or against vaccination. What to do? The infectious illness outbreaks are happening in the vaccinated and the vaccine free populations.

This is why the Vaccine Free: Now What? Course is offered. Some parents no longer have a choice whether to vaccinate or not. That option was removed when a vaccine injured their child. This happens. All too frequently. You can check the VAERS (Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System) database through an easy to use data search engine. The search engine is fairly straightforward and easy to use. You can search which specific vaccine, what kind of injury and the date can be displayed in a graph, map or chart.

Here is the link to MedAlerts.

In Canada, you can check the CAEFISS (Canadian Adverse Events Following Immunization Surveillance System) website of the Public Health Agency of Canada.

If you are taking your child in for a vaccination, you might also want to take in the form from the Canadian public health website. There is a spot for the lot number of the vaccine given, which can be important information if you child has an adverse reaction. Much easier to record at the time than to try and search for the information 2-4 weeks after the vaccine.

Back to fever though…What to do?

Fever as an Evolutionary Adaptation

In the spirit of curiosity I searched the net using the words ‘fever and evolution’ just to see what might pop up. (We all have our own kinds of fun!) I discovered a research paper from 1978 by Matthew Kluger.

“Long regarded as a harmful by-product of infection, fever may instead be an ancient ally against disease, enhancing resistance and increasing chances of survival.”

Even in 1978, fever was considered a harmful by-product of infection! Recent research has made advances since then and it is well known that fever is an exquisite cascade of events as an immune system response to return the body functions to homeostasis (balance).

Today fever is considered “a normal response to a variety of conditions, the most common of which is infection.

The Evolution Research

Kluger used the desert iguana to conduct his research. Because amphibians cannot make their own heat and rely on external sources like the sun or other heat sources, Kluger wondered how they would adapt when infected with bacteria harmful to their well-being. The lizards were one animal whose temperature he could regulate via the environment (heat/cold) in response to a fever, stimulated by an injection of a bacterium.

The method was to inject the iguana with a strain of bacteria that is known to cause infection. The options were to let the animal deal with the infection naturally, change/control the environment in terms of external temperature (either allowing the lizard to find its own heat source or prevent it from finding a heat source) and/or to give a fever reducing medication.

“Antipyresis (checking or preventing fever) of this fever using sodium salicylate (aspirin) led to mortality in 7 of 7 animals. When 8 additional lizards were given the same dose of antipyretic drugs, yet prevented from lowering their body temperature (by keeping them in a constant-temperature incubator), only 1 died (12 percent). This indicated that the increased mortality following the administration of sodium salicylate to bacterially infected animals was due not to some side effect of the drug but rather to the reduction in body temperature itself.”

When fever was suppressed with the sodium salicylate all the animals died. When the animals were allowed to seek a heat source or were provided with a warm environment, only 1 died. Heat is important when an infection is happening.

Today, aspirin (sodium salicylate) is not used as a fever suppressant. Children’s aspirin was used when I was a child but that was all there was at the time. Now it is known that Reye’s syndrome is a possible complication of using aspirin. Historically, this is when acetaminophen was introduced to the public as an alternative to aspirin as a pain reliever (analgesic) and fever reducer (anti-pyretic).

Back to the Research

“…perhaps more important, are the potential clinical implications of these data, which suggest that a fever during bacterial infection is beneficial. If a fever in response to infection does have a general adaptive value in ectotherms (like amphibians), then an inexpensive therapeutic procedure is readily available for diseased ectotherms maintained in captivity: simply provide a source of heat.”

I asked my son what happens when their pet bearded dragon Merlin gets sick. He said, “The first thing he does is stick his head under the heat lamp.”

“If after careful investigation moderate fever is also shown to increase survival rates for birds and mammals, then the use of antipyretic drugs would be contraindicated (not advised). Perhaps drugs which are analgesic (pain relievers) but not antipyretic (fever reducers), reducing pain rather than the fever itself, could be substituted for the commonly used drugs, which reduce both. It appears that we may be on the verge of verifying Sydenham’s hunch that ‘fever is a mighty engine which Nature brings into the world for the conquest of her enemies’ (1666).”

So there you have it. Fever is a friend and is an evolutionary adaptation.

I get it that when your kids are sick with a fever, you want to help them feel comfortable and support them through the illness. You can use homeopathy in situations of fever to help support healing and recovery, which is a great alternative to stopping the fever and possibly prolonging the illness.

In the Vaccine Free: Now What? e-course, you will learn what to observe with symptoms of fever and you will know when fever is something you can manage at home or when you need the help of your physician. Great to have some homeopathic remedies in your home kit, just when you need them!

The ‘Other Side’ of Acetaminophen

As with all prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications, it is important to be aware of drug recalls and possible side effects. In my research for today’s article, I found two very good resources.Be sure to check your cupboards for these acetaminophen products that were recalled! If you have any of these products, chances are good that they have expired dates on them, but just in case, have a look!

1. McNeil Consumer Healthcare Announces Voluntary Recall of Certain OTC Infants’ and Children’s Products
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – April 30, 2010 – Fort Washington, PA. McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Division of McNEIL-PPC, Inc., in consultation with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), is voluntarily recalling all lots that have not yet expired of certain over-the-counter (OTC) Children’s and Infants’ liquid products manufactured in the United States and distributed in the United States, Canada, Dominican Republic, Dubai (UAE), Fiji, Guam, Guatemala, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Panama, Trinidad & Tobago, and Kuwait. (SEE RECALLED PRODUCT LIST HERE).

2. An article written by a conventional medical doctor whose specialty is researching the dangers of prescription and over-the-counter drugs. He has some excellent advice on herbs and supplements you can take if you are on long term acetaminophen for pain management.
REPORT: The Little-Known Dangers of Acetaminophen By Jay S. Cohen, MD, (Introduction by William Faloon)

Feel free to forward this letter to friends and family. When they sign up to receive the weekly newsletter, they’ll also get the free chapter of Fever Essentials: Helping Children Heal with Homeopathy.

Gentle reminders about the Vaccine Free: Now What? e-course:
Early Bird registration ends March 6th
Final registration ends March 9th
Click here for more information.

Yours in health and healing,


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