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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 8  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 84-90

Epidemic containment measures in Unani medicine and their contemporary relevance

1 Department of Tahaffuzi wa Samaji Tib, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Kulliyat, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Malik Itrat
Department of Tahaffuzi wa Samaji Tib, National Institute of Unani Medicine, Kottigepalya, Magadi Main Road, Bengaluru, Karnataka.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/JISM.JISM_53_20

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Background and Objective: Nonavailability of clinically proven prophylaxis and specific drug against the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) turned the world’s attention toward finding ways to strengthen the host defense. Unani scholars fully understand and consider the host as a key determinant in disease dynamics and laid emphasis on host defense strengthening as an important disease prevention strategy. Hence, this article aimed to provide an overview of the epidemic containment measures described in Unani classical texts and their relevance in the current outbreak. Materials and Methods: A manual literature survey of classical Unani texts was conducted to collect the information on the measures suggested for epidemic containment. In addition, electronic databases such as PubMed, Google Scholar, and Science Direct were searched to identify researches conducted on Unani drugs listed in the article as well as to obtain recent information about COVID-19 outbreak. The keywords used were “Unani Medicine,” “Epidemic,” “Immunomodulator,” “Antiviral,” “Antimicrobial,” “Prevention,” and “COVID-19.”Results: The literature review shows that Unani scholars have given an elaborate description of the epidemic including its definition, etiological factors, susceptible host, clinical presentation of infected individuals, and the containment measures. Described measures can be broadly classified into cause-centric and host-centric depending on their application-at environment and individual level, respectively. Cause-centric measures are aimed to eliminate the causative agent present in the environment and host-centric measures are aimed to strengthen the host defense. Conclusion: Epidemic containment measures described in classical Unani treatises seem to be of much relevance in today’s context. These measures have been considered useful in reducing the risk of contracting the infection during epidemics. Hence, in our opinion, it is worth assessing them in the current outbreak.

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