The 2012-2013 Influenza Epidemic and the Role of Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine

Donna M. Mueller, DO
Notes and Affiliations
Notes and Affiliations

Received: January 24, 2013

Accepted: April 30, 2013

Published: September 1, 2013

J Osteopath Med; 113(9): 703-707

The 2012-2013 influenza epidemic arrived approximately 4 weeks early, augmented by an unusual variant type-A (“swine flu”) strain that caused greater-than-normal illness and a lack of efficacy in vaccination against it. Tens of thousands of people die of influenza or related complications during a nonepidemic influenza season. Osteopathic medicine can substantially help to address the complications that result from influenza. For example, during the deadly 1918-1919 Spanish influenza pandemic, osteopaths reduced patient mortality and morbidity by using lymphatic treatment techniques. Use of osteopathic manipulative treatment with vaccination, antiviral therapy, and chemoprophylaxis has potential to save lives and reduce complications. The present article describes the role of osteopathic manipulative treatment in the management of influenza and highlights current issues surrounding the use of antiviral therapy.

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