Polio & Smallpox, Two Diseases with “A Different Story”

Polio & Smallpox, Two Diseases with “A Different Story”

This is an excerpt from an excellent piece on how the vast majority of diseases we are vaccinated for were on a serious decline (often ~90%) BEFORE the vaccines were introduced. This excerpt is about the two unique exceptions to the decline before vaccination campaigns. Article source: Did Vaccines Save Us?

* * *

Two diseases with “a different story”


1. Polio

“Polio” is short for “poliomyelitis”, which means “inflammation of the grey matter” affecting the grey matter in the spinal cord and sometimes the brain stem. This inflammation can cause paralysis, usually temporarily, and then it is called “paralytic poliomyelitis”.

When the polio vaccine came into use in 1955, polio was officially defined as being caused by poliovirus, an enterovirus that had circulated freely through our gut since ancient times.

Unlike other diseases that vaccines get the credit for fixing, the first serious US polio outbreak occurred in 1894, there was a major epidemic in 1916, then things got worse in the 30s, 40s and early 50s. What could have caused this mysterious appearance at a time when mortality from other infectious diseases had declined a great deal?

Pesticides lead arsenate and DDT, interacting with a virus or viruses, is a strong candidate. It is possible the pesticides were damaging nerves, allowing the entry of normally-harmless enteroviruses.

In the US, lead arsenate was first widely used in 1893 in Boston, and the first larger cluster of polio happened there that summer (26 cases), then the first major epidemic (132 cases, 18 deaths) occurred in Vermont the following summer, in 1894, the year the formula for lead arsenate was first published, by Vermont’s state entomologist. Source.

Summer was the time fruit crops were sprayed with insecticides.

(Before 1950, DDT was hailed as a miracle of progress that was virtually non-toxic to humans, in spite of FDA’s warnings and attempts to keep it off the market. This photo on the left is one of several similar photos from Zimmerman, et al, DDT: Killer of Killers (1946). The advertisement on the right is from an unknown source, though it appears to be circa 1954.)

DDT was sprayed around freely in the 1940s and early 1950s. It is still used in India, some African countries and elsewhere.  

The evidence does show the polio vaccine eliminated outbreaks of polio associated with poliovirus in the US and other countries. However, before the vaccine, polio was usually diagnosed without a pathology test for poliovirus – it was common for doctors to diagnose ‘poliovirus’ so patients could get health funding.

Therefore other enteroviruses besides poliovirus may well have been causing poliomyelitis, or polio may have been simply caused by pesticides without the involvement of a virus (although the fact that polio vaccines lead to many cases of paralysis does point to the involvement of a virus).

These considerations have ramifications that continue today, in both developed nations where there are still outbreaks of paralyzing “polio-like” illness and in third-world nations.

After vaccination was introduced in 1955, a strict pathology test was required to confirm a patient had polio. Also, at this point the definition of polio changed—paralysis had to last for 60 days instead of just 24 hours, and non-paralytic cases were no longer called polio.

These factors lowered the number of polio cases significantly, making it look like the vaccine was very successful. We should also note the book ‘Silent Spring’, which was influential in DDT use in agriculture being banned, came out in 1962.

Note – Australian nurse Sister Kenny successfully treated polio paralysis of limbs with hot packs, massage and gentle movement, instead of with long-term immobilization, cutting tendons, painful electric treatment and braces.

This earned her condemnation by the medical establishment and gratitude from the people she helped recover. Sources

An Australian outback doctor, Dr. Archie Kalokerinos, who visited polio victims on farms, noticed children played in drums of “cottonfield spray”.

2. Smallpox

Smallpox vaccination began around 1798. It was a disgusting, unclean practice and many people died from it—the arm was sliced open and pus from an infected cow’s udder was rubbed into the wounds (a practice that persisted for over 100 years, with fresh pus being replaced by dried cowpox scabs later in the 19th century).

National mortality records began in 1838 in England and Wales, and 1900 in the US, so we have no before and after evidence for the effect of this vaccine.

Doctors at the time were enthusiastic and pushed for laws making vaccination mandatory, in 1853 and 1868 in England. But we should note they were making good money from it, and they were the same generation of doctors who refused to wash their hands between autopsies and internal examinations in women in birthing hospitals, causing high childbirth death rates, believing a gentleman’s hands could not spread disease (the idea that germs caused disease was not promoted by Louis Pasteur till the 1860s, and there was resistance to it by doctors). See Semmelweis reflex or look here: Postpartum infections and look under History.

The following figure shows England and Wales smallpox and scarlet fever deaths 1838 to 1922 (sources below). Note – there was no vaccine for scarlet fever, but it declined dramatically anyway (and the bacterium causes strep throat today), suggesting smallpox declined by itself as living and working conditions improved.

Also, the 1870 smallpox outbreak was the worst outbreak in England ever, and occurred after 70 years of vaccination with 100% coverage in many areas, demonstrating smallpox vaccination was of no use whatsoever.

(Record of mortality in England and Wales for 95 years as provided by the Office of National Statistics, published 1997; Report to The Honourable Sir George Cornewall Lewis, Bart, MP, Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for the Home Department, June 30, 1860, pp. a4, 205; Written answer by Lord E. Percy to Parliamentary question addressed by Mr. March, MP, to the Minister to Health on July 16, 1923; Essay on Vaccination by Charles T. Pearce, MD, Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of England)

England and Wales smallpox deaths vs. deaths from the smallpox vaccine from 1906 to 1922 (source below).

(Written answer by Lord E. Percy to Parliamentary question addressed by Mr. March, MP, to the Minister to Health on July 16, 1923)

* * *