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The Salk Vaccine And The "Disappearance" of Paralytic Polio
—  Is Paralysis A Viral Disease?  —

By Gary Krasner & Barry Mesh
Plus Excerpt From, "Immunization: The Reality Behind The Myth", By Walene
James (1988)


The following "heresy" about polio requires some explanation, particularly since it was the "success" of the Salk vaccine that the NYS legislature specifically cited as justification for the enactment of the vaccination requirements for school (Legislative Findings of L.1966, c.994, Section 1, effective 1/1/1967). These Historical Notes read, "One of the truely great medical advances of this generation has been the development of proved methods of reducing the incidence of poliomyelitis, the once great crippler. Public health statistics show clearly that immunization is at least 90% effective in preventing paralysis. Immunization has been proven absolutely safe and there is no evidence or indication that anyone has contracted paralytic polio from an immunization dose." Not even the DoH would assert that last sentence today, in the light of currently available evidence. Still, the purported effectiveness of the vaccine is still "lore" today, and was the basis to enact the "law" in NYS in the first instance.

These facts about the 1950's polio "epidemic" speak for themselves and—in a perfect world—would be reason enough to rescind PHL §2164/5.


To appreciate how epidemics can be "created", one has to understand the degree of control that public health officials have throughout the entire process.

Public health agencies have assumed wide discretion in announcing "public health alerts". Such powers conferred upon the DoH to enforce that have been notoriously abused by health authorities. The DoH has wide discretion in calling "public health alerts". The CDC loosely defines an "epidemic" as 2-3 confirmed cases in different areas. An "area" may be a few city blocks, or an entire country. An "outbreak" is defined as at least one case in one area. There is also a system called "epilink", which suggests that if one person living in a household has a confirmed case of a "communicable" disease, then there's no need to draw blood to test anyone else with similar symptoms living in that same household.

Also, there's an over-reliance on incidence statistics rather than mortality, to demonstrate vaccination effectiveness. However, statisticians tell us that mortality statistics can be a better measure of incidence than the incidence figures themselves, for the simple reason that the quality of reporting and record-keeping is much higher on fatalities. [Darrell Huff, How to Lie With Statistics, p. 84] In 1982, Maryland state health officials blamed a epidemic on a television program, "DPT:Vaccine Roulette", which warned of the risks from the DPT vaccine. However, when Dr. J. Anthony Morris, former chief virologist for the U.S. Division of Biological Standards, had analyzed the 41 cases, only 5 were confirmed cases of pertussis, and all 5 had been vaccinated against the disease. [Trevor Gunn, "Mass Immunization: A Point in Question", p 15 (E.D. Hume, Pasteur Exposed-The False Foundations of Modern Medicine, Bookreal, Australia, 1989.)]

Historically, public health officials have routinely increased disease surveillance in areas of low vaccination acceptance as a retaliatory response (a) against people who reject Modern Medicine's vaunted public health tool, and (b) to justify predictions that outbreaks will occur because of said rejection. Intensified surveillance for whooping cough in Britain, Japan, and Sweden, for example, had followed steep declines in pertussis vaccination rates in those countries.

Sometimes the increased disease surveillance is accompanied by a relaxation of the case definition of the disease, and lowered criteria required for its diagnosis. Subclinical and borderline cases are suddenly classified as "severe". Suspected cases are permitted to be clinically diagnosed without laboratory confirmation. After 1955, for example, polio had "disappeared" following the Salk vaccine, only because thereafter clinicians hung new and different names on the same polio-like symptoms. In fact, it appears that it was the Salk vaccine itself that was the "great crippler", and that paralysis would have disappeared sooner, had we done without the vaccine.

The following 6 paragraphs are a summary of the article below about polio epidemiology in the 1950s:

Polio was already declining in the U.S. and Europe during the 40's and 50's, as well as in England, where polio mortalities was at its height in 1950, but had declined 82 percent by 1956, before the Salk vaccinations began there. There was also no polio epidemic in the Third-World, where only 10 per cent of the population had been vaccinated. But the Public Health Service and the March Of Dimes campaign swelled the statistics by combining the larger numbers of non-paralytic, "unspecified" and "abortive" polio cases, with the dwindling numbers of paralytic cases. Almost two-thirds of this total comprised the milder, "non-paralytic" type. In the minds of millions of people—then and now—polio had meant paralysis. But by combining paralytic cases with the various milder, non-paralytic forms, the public was misled into thinking that paralysis was sweeping the land.

Paralysis started to rise only after the Salk vaccine had begun in April 1955. It proved to be so hazardous that by November 1955, all European countries, with the exception of Denmark, had cancelled or discontinued their Salk vaccine programs. Canada postponed its Salk vaccine program July 29th of that year. In the U.S., Newark, N.J. stopped inoculations in June, 1955, while Idaho and Utah took similar action in July, followed shortly by Massachusetts [Morris Beale's American Capsule News, Oct. 15th, 1955]. By January 1, 1957, 17 states had rejected their supplies of Salk polio vaccine. During that year, the NY Times reported that very nearly half the paralytic cases, and three-quarters of the non-paralytic cases in children between the ages of 5 and 14 years occurred in vaccinated children. After two years of Salk vaccinations, paralytic polio increased nationally about 50% from 1957 to 1958, and about 80% from 1958 to 1959.

The attempt to hide the rise in paralysis occurred after 1955, when viral analysis of coxsackie virus infection and septic meningitis made them distinguishable from paralytic poliomyelitis. But if they had continued to be counted together as a single "polio" disease, it would have showed that paralytic polio increased nationally about 50% from 1957 to 1958, and about 80% from 1958 to 1959—two years into the Salk vaccination campaign. In addition to these two polio "twins", there were actually 170 other diseases with "polio-like" symptoms, with names like, spinal meningitis, inhibitory palsy, epidemic cholera, cholera morbus, ergotism, famine fever, billious remittent fever, spinal apoplexy, scurvy, berri-berri, pellagra, acidosis, etc. Each were very likely classified as "polio" during the frenzy prior to 1955. After 1955, NON-paralytic polio also acquired a new name. It wasn't until the mid-1950's that new laboratory techniques of culturing viruses could distinguish THIS polio from its clinical twin, aseptic meningitis. Before 1960, not a single case of "aseptic meningitis" was reported. Then, it was called (non-paralytic) "polio", and nationally had totaled 70,083 between 1951 and 1960. But from 1961 to 1992, there had been 220,365 cases of aseptic meningitis. There were only 589 cases of non-paralytic polio from 1961 to 1982. Not a single case has been reported since. Non-paralytic polio may have "disappeared". But thousands of children still experience the same symptoms as non-paralytic polio every year. Except now, it goes by another name.

Besides the name game, the (presumed) decline in polio due to the Salk vaccine was also an artifact of diagnostic methodology. Prior to 1954, the diagnosis of spinal paralytic poliomyelitis followed the World Health Organization definition: "Signs and symptoms of nonparalytic polio, with the addition of partial or complete paralysis of one or more muscle groups, detected on two examinations at least 24 hours apart." But beginning in 1955 following the introduction of the Salk vaccine, the criteria changed to conform more closely to the definition used in the (fraudulent) 1954 Salk field trials: "Unless there is residual involvement (paralysis) at least 60 days after onset, a case of poliomyelitis is not considered paralytic." Laboratory confirmation was possible after 1955, but not required for diagnosis. Obviously, more cases of paralysis had a chance to recover within 60 days, than in 24 hours. As intended, paralytic polio decreased by 23,500 cases from 1955 to 1957. However, after 2 years of widespread uptake of the Salk vaccine, paralysis increased about 50% from 1957 to 1958, and about 80% from 1958 to 1959. (The Sabin oral vaccine supplanted Salk's by 1961.)

Finally, the PHS also redefined a "polio epidemic": Before the introduction of the Salk vaccine, only 20 cases per 100,000 population was an "epidemic". Afterwards, it required 35 per 100,000 per year. Considering all these manipulations to endow efficacy upon the Salk vaccine, to say that public health officials had, "moved the goal posts" would be an understatement. They moved the stadium.

It is no different today. Most people would be surprised to learn that there are more than one thousand outbreaks worldwide each year, including colds, seasonal flus, hepatitus, and numerous noninfectious syndromes, all running their course and disappearing, often despite remaining unexplained by scientists. Even the dreaded Ebola epidemic failed to materialize. The CDC claimed that 108 people may have been killed by the Ebola in Zaire in 1995. However, there had been no further deaths and not a single case has ever been reported in the U.S. or Europe. As historian Elizabeth Etheridge wrote, "the epidemic was virtually over before their work [CDC & WHO] began" (Sentinel for Health, 1992).

Considering the speed from exposure to death, the mortalities were more likely the result of a chemical toxicological agent. A couple of other indications point in that direction: Symptoms were never seen outside the localized area where it began. And 20 per cent of the 55 million Zairens are Ebola virus antibody-positive, having survived the virus without apparent disease (Dietrich J.,1995). One guess is that those who became sick had been exposed to the deadly cleaning solvents and oils that are often left at military base camps—possibly from groundwater contamination. Indeed, civil wars extending across 8 nations in central Africa killed about 2.5 million African civilians between 1998 and 2001 alone.

If it were not for the gullible media and fanatical virus hunters seeking fame and fortune, this virus would have joined the ranks of the thousands of known harmless passenger viruses. According to renowned molecular biologist Peter Duesberg, "these many outbreaks provide the CDC with its inexhaustible source of epidemics" (Inventing The AIDS Virus, 1996).

In conclusion, such deceptions skew the correct picture of disease prevalence. Too often, an apparent rise in cases of a disease is an artifact of epidemiological methodology—and bias. State legislatures cannot properly ascertain which vaccines to mandate based upon information provided solely from health officials. Dissenters outside, and from within the medical community must also be heard. Thus, given the traditional abuse of this responsibility by health officials, it is imprudent to continue to vest public health officials sole authority during states of "public health alerts"—particularly when they're so poorly defined and entail such a low threshold to demonstrate.


NOTE—As early as 1975, researcher Barry Mesh was perhaps the first to assemble the complete polio story of the 1950's. He paints a starkly different picture from the popularized legend of the Salk vaccine. This essay extracts some of his account of the Salk vaccinations and the 1950's polio "epidemic". It's followed by the chapter on polio from Walene James' book. Other articles in the separate Science Supplement elaborates on this medical history, and other causes of paralytic diseases.—Gary Krasner


Poliomyelitis is the inflammation of the gray matter of the spinal cord. Its clinical symptoms are varied, and in most cases, oddly enough, do not involve the spinal cord at all. Medical manuals report that most cases of polio are of a minor nature, the symptoms, if any, being fever, malaise, drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or sore throat in various combinations. The disease may last from 2 to 10 days, with recovery being rapid and complete. The more serious forms produce stiffness and pain in the back and neck and occasionally paralysis of some parts of the body, usually temporary. Death does occur, but infrequently.


Conventional medicine believes that polio is caused by a microbiological agent—poliovirus—for which a vaccine would be an appropriate preventative of the disease. Yet the viral mechanism to account for paralytic polio has yet to be established. (Similarly, the chemical mechanism for most viral diseases, including small pox, have yet to be described.) While scientists can isolate the virus from tissue, and believe they know which part of the virus is responsible for attacking the nervous system, virologist Jonathan Weber, senior lecturer at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School in London—in an essay arguing that HIV is the cause of AIDS—wrote in the New Scientist (May 5th, 1988, page 32) that, "…the relationship between the virus and paralytic polio is still [merely] an epidemiological association; the majority of infections with polio virus do not lead to paralysis, the clinical manifestation of the illness."

Indeed, that may be an understatement. Boyd's Textbook of Pathology (8th Edition, 1984) states, "90-95% poliovirus infections are unapparent"—which means the virus doesn't produce any symptoms of disease in almost all people who are infected with poliovirus. Among the 5-10% who do exhibit symptoms, the virus causes "a mild disease of headache, nausea, and fever. A few cases progress to aseptic meningitis, consisting of pains in the back and neck, ending in rapid and complete recovery. In less than 2% of total cases, poliovirus infection causes flaccid paralysis, frequently with…loss of muscle enervation, which may be prolonged and is often irreversible." Nevertheless, according to Muir's Textbook of Pathology, 9th Edition, 1972, polio cases WITHOUT paralysis are about 20 times as common as paralytic cases. And that, "such cases are difficult or impossible to recognize on clinical grounds alone, since they simulate minor gastrointestinal or respiratory infections from other causes"—not unlike a severe cold. One wonders now, how polio could have struck terror in people a half century ago. As it turned out, a public relations campaign can take credit for that.

Some believe that gene fragments (viruses) that have been associated with polio and all its clinical twins may be mere happenstance, or at best serological markers, possibly from the putrefaction of proteins in the blood, which is more likely responsible for the various forms of the disease. Other non-viral contributing factors that have been suggested range from vitamin and mineral deficiency, to toxicological, to factors that hinder our capacity to manage toxins and metabolic waste—such as tonsillectomies—as was suggested by Boyd's Textbook. While there are currently "only" a couple of hundred thousand tonsillectomies performed annually, the operation had peaked to 2 million during the 1930s and 40s—the same years that paralytic polio began to develop in significant numbers.

Another cause of paralysis that displaces the poliovirus theory may be pesticides. A great deal of evidence for this displayed on Jim West's (harpub@hotmail.com) website, www.bcity.com/harpub. Raeto West's incisive commentary regarding this polio site may be found at:

The bottom line for the reader to understand is that correlation does not rove cause. The presence of viruses, viroids or fragmented genes may merely be coincidental, or a derivative of the underlying condition. As renowned virologist Peter Dueberg described in "Infectious AIDS: Have We Been Misled" (1995, North Atlantic Books, p.330), dozens of diseases previously thought to be microbial were later shown to be toxilogical or nutritional.


While conventional medicine has yet to suggest a direct viral mechanism for polio, there are plausible toxicological mechanisms. One toxicological mechanism of various paralytic diseases may be manifested by vaccination itself. In addition to highly antigenic (toxic) proteins and foreign viral particles, vaccines contain extremely poisonous preservatives, adjuvants, neutralizers, carrying agents and extracting agents, such as thimerosal (a mercury derivative), benzethonium chloride, methyl paraben, phenol red, pyridene, ethanol, ethylene chlorophyrin, aluminum hydroxide, aluminum hydrochloride, sodium hydroxide, aluminum sulfate, aluminum potassium sulfate, sorbitol, hydrolized gelatin, carbonic acid, thiosalicylic acid, and formaldehyde (in the form of formalin).

None of these chemicals are indigenous to the body, yet they're injected directly into the bloodstreams of two, four, and six month old infants—whose immune systems are not fully developed—bypassing important mucosal immune system barriers, as well as the liver, whose purpose it is to filter poisons before it gets into the blood. The medical literature and toxicology textbooks rank these chemicals as highly toxic poisons and potent carcinogens. The other component in vaccines—foreign proteins—can act as allergens, in which the most acute reaction may be anaphylactic shock, possibly leading to convulsions and death within minutes.

Injected proteins are also the likeliest suspects in causing paralytic symptoms. In the absence of digestive juices in the blood, these proteins decompose (putrefy) yielding extremely poisonous endotoxins, like ptomaines, creatins, xanthins, purines, indoles, skatols, phenols, leucomaines, uric acids, and indoxyl-sulphuric acids. These toxins are often eliminated (removed from the blood) vicariously through the mucous membranes or by diffusion into the spinal fluid. In the former, this irritating excretion causes an inflammation attended by mild fever, malaise, perhaps slight stiffness in the neck, with recovery in a few days for most children. In the latter case, if the child is already in a toxic state, with subnormal adrenal glands, the toxins build up in the mucous membranes of the sinuses. As the membranes of the brain are in close proximity, it is a simple matter for these fluids to penetrate brain tissue and the spinal cord. Stiffness and paralysis follows from that.

Whether it's from injected chemicals or protein toxins, if the cause of paralysis is indeed toxicological rather than microbial, we can expect to see examples of dose-dependent relationships that are characteristic of the former. And in fact there is a dietary link that conforms to this mechanism that may account for the generally milder forms of the disease (e.g. non-permanent weakness and stiffness of the muscles in the limbs). This diet may involve toxemia caused by the residue of "acid-type foods", compounded by foods containing refined sugar that adversely affects calcium and bone metablolism:

The end products of digestion are either acid or alkaline, depending upon the kind of food eaten. Meat, eggs, pasteurized milk and dairy products, breads, cereals, refined foods and most cooked foods are decidedly acid in reaction, producing great excesses of phosphorous, sulfur and chlorine. Raw fruits and vegetables provide the alkaline mineral salts (calcium, magnesium, iron, etc.). An alkaline blood and lymph is necessary to life and health, since the cells of the body are bathed in alkaline fluids. The body uses its alkaline mineral salts to neutralize acids, and if these acids are allowed to accumulate excessively, the alkaline minerals will be leeched from the tissues to serve this function. Calcium, being the most abundant and readily available alkaline mineral (bones, teeth, etc.), is sacrificed in this way. Pasteurized milk, being extremely acid-forming in reaction (as opposed to raw milk, which is alkaline), necessitates the withdrawal of calcium from the body. In fact, all acid-forming foods require neutralizing, and thus cause a depletion of the body's alkaline reserve. In short, humans require an alkaline-forming diet for health. An acid-forming diet causes disease.

There is evidence to show that in all cases of polio, there is a deficiency in blood calcium. What lowers blood calcium? Acid-forming foods (practically everything except raw fruits and vegetables) and refined sugar in any form—ice cream, cola drinks, cakes and pies, ketchup, white flour, malteds, ices, etc., all steal calcium from the body. Refined sugar is converted (decomposes via fermentation) into alcohol almost immediately after it is taken into the body and does the same damage that alcohol does. It dehydrates the cells and leeches calcium from the nerves, muscles, bones, teeth, and all other tissues that are supplied with calcium. Refined sugar is absorbed into the blood almost immediately, causing the blood sugar level to rise, thus producing more and more carbonic acid. Carbonic acid has a chemical affinity (attraction) for minerals, especially calcium, which it dissolves from the teeth and bony structures. The bloodstream, acidified by sugar consumption, has a corrosive action on the minerals of the teeth. It is calcium particularly, which is dissolved and a serious calcium deficiency is a forerunner to polio.

For example, consider ice cream consumption by children. Unlike meat, ice cream—containing huge amounts of protein and sugar—may be consumed in prodigious amounts. It is also cold, and therefore in a state that is difficult to digest. What does not digest will decompose, leading to the poisoning mechanism described earlier. The rise of polio (known as the "summertime disease") and its symptomatic twins can be traced to the widespread introduction of refrigeration and the increased consumption of ice cream and other concentrated protein foods. In fact, the well-known piercing pain—known as "brain freeze"—that many people feel behind their nose, eyes, or temples right after eating ice cream may be explained by protein toxins building up in the mucous membranes of the sinuses, described earlier.

A campaign to restrict ice cream and sugar consumption—instituted in 1948 by Dr. Benjamin P. Sandler, a medical doctor and nutrition expert at the Oteen Veteran's Hospital, N.C—had lead to drastic declines in the incidence of polio. In just one year the number of polio cases dropped 90%. The North Carolina State Board of Health reported 2,498 cases of polio in the Tarheel Commonwealth during 1948. In 1949—after that campaign began—that figure dropped to 229 (with no polio vaccine available yet). Dr. Sandler's researches showed specifically that the modern tendency to consume excessive amounts of cola and fountain drinks and frozen foods in hot weather, loaded with refined sugar, was responsible for the rise in polio cases. The phosphoric acid in soda absorbs the phosphorus and sulfates in the foods we eat before they metabolize. The nerves are thus deprived of the necessary phosphorus and sulfate, and certain nerve trunks cease to function. The victim loses the use of one of more limbs.

This non-viral mechanism seems to confirm the epidemiology of this disease—one which generally affected affluent societies during the summer months. (In "The Mysteries Within", author Sherman B. Nuland accurately conveyed what was observed at the time—that polio was a middle-to-upper class disease.) First, more frozen deserts and sweeted beverages are consumed during the summer months. Second, the affluent could better afford to avail their children with the services of physicians, and being better educated as well, would be more inclined to make sure that their children were fully immunized with the recommended (by 1944) doses each of diphtheria and pertussis vaccines. The pertussis vaccine being the most notoriously associated with adverse neurological injuries. (The combined DPT vaccine was introduced after 1947, with the pertussis component still inducing the most damages.) Contracting polio by swimming in dirty ponds was obviously a whimsical notion for the virus hunters—one whose only virtue was that it supported their virus theory.


Neurological effects are the most commonly known reactions that follow vaccinations. In nearly 20% of VAERS reports, the first of eight listed side effects suggests central nervous system involvement. Examining  the first listed effects shows about 4,600 involving such symptoms as prolonged screaming, agitation, apnea, ataxia, visual disturbances, convulsions, tremors, twitches, an abnormal cry, hypotonia, hypertonia, abnormal sensations, stupor, somnolence, neck rigidity, paralysis, confusion, and oculogyric crisis. The last is a striking feature of post-encephalitic Parkinson's disease, or it may occur as a dystonic reaction to certain drugs such as phenothiazines. The CDC admits that the results of ongoing studies on a potential association of hepatitis B vaccine and demyelinating diseases such as multiple sclerosis are not yet available.

Let's test the non-viral mechanism further. As mentioned, toxicological diseases are dose-dependent: The more toxins there are, the more disease. Polio is an "endemic" disease—habitually appearing in limited and consistent numbers in all parts of the world. But when epidemics have appeared, they were usually preceded by toxicological assaults that could account for them. One type of assault has been vaccination. Encephalitis and paralysis has been established clinical "side effects" of vaccination. And parents of children with these neurological injuries typically report that the more severe and permanent symptoms occurred after followup vaccinations and boosters—often after the physician assured the parent that the reactions from the initial vaccines were "harmless" and "normal". In other words, injuries increase in severity and type following additional vaccinations, which is the hallmark of the dose-dependent relationship of chemical toxins.

Epidemiological evidence suggests that a common cause of polio epidemics has often been vaccination itself. Paralytic disease has been recorded hundreds of years ago. But epidemic numbers hadn't appeared until the latter part of the 19th century when compulsory smallpox vaccination was instituted. A major outbreak of infantile paralysis followed a diphtheria toxin-antitoxin vaccination campaign in the United States in 1916. Worst hit was New York City, where 9023 cases were reported with 2448 deaths ("Breakthrough: The Saga of Jonas Salk", by P. Carter). Pertussis and typhoid vaccination campaigns had also been implicated in outbreaks: Polio cases began to soar in 1948-9 when pertussis vaccine began. In 1976, of the 46 million Americans that were vaccinated with Swine Flu vaccine, two thirds experienced adverse reactions, with thousands that were either killed, paralyzed, or injured neurologically with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. (Uncle Sam payed out damage claims totalling almost $4 billion from this debacle.) GBS is reported today as a reaction following vaccination. But passive reporting systems makes it hard to determine its prevalence, plus paralysis may be misdiagnosed or mis-classified as other conditions.

A report on Vaccination and Immunization, published by The Howey Foundation, Surrey, England (which takes an impartial look at all vaccination procedures) stated flatly: "It is now accepted that paralytic poliomyelitis was precipitated by diphtheria vaccines and tonsillectomies, and other vaccines have also been implicated. This almost certainly accounts for the sudden upsurge between 1940 and 1950 of what had been a declining disease . . . Since the introduction of poliomyelitis vaccine there have been many cases of poliomyelitis in fully vaccinated persons and instances of the vaccine actually lending to the disease."


Yet the vaccine that had caused that greatest numbers of paralytic cases, ironically, was the vaccine intended to end paralysis forever. Publicity for polio received a boost in 1938 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt established the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (NFIP), and placed his friend, Basil O'Conner in charge of it. O'Conner was considered one of the greatest publicists of his time.

In the late 1940' and early 1950's, he inundated the world with reports of raging polio epidemics. The National Foundation mounted a continuous publicity campaign which reached the entire country with such reminders as the sight of paralyzed victims on crutches, or with names such as the "iron lung," the device used to help "bulbar" cases of polio (paralyzed chest muscles) to breathe. The word polio took on extraordinary emotional connotations, and the Foundation's annual March of Dimes became a fantastically successful fund-raising operation.

In 1952 Jonas Salk stepped into the spotlight. At that time, Salk was a research professor at the University of Pittsburgh and had been enlisted by Basil O'Connor into the National Foundation's polio research program. Salk did not offer a cure for polio. He sought a preventative—a vaccine which he tested on a small scale in 1952 and 1953.


Salk vaccinations began in the U.S. in April 1955. Only two months into the Salk campaign, the U.S. Public Health Service, on June 23, 1955, announced that there had been 168 confirmed cases of poliomyelitis among the vaccinated with six deaths. The News Chronicle of May 6, 1955, reported:

"The interval between the inoculation and the first sign of paralysis ranged from 5 to 20 days and in a large proportion of cases it started in the limb on which the injection had been given. Another feature of the tragedy was that the numbers developing polio were far greater than would have been expected had no inoculations been given. In fact, in the state of Idaho, according to a statement by Dr. Carl Eklund, one of the government's chief virus authorities, polio struck only vaccinated children in areas where there had been no cases of polio since the preceding autumn; in 9 out of 10 cases the paralysis occurred in the arms in which the vaccine had been injected."

In June, 1955, James C. Spaulding, a staff writer for the Milwaukee Journal covered an American Medical Association convention. Here is what Spaulding learned and reported on June 19, 1955:

"A policy of secrecy and deception has been followed by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis and the U.S. Public Health Service in the polio vaccine programs. As a result the nation's physicians were prevented from learning vital information about the trouble in making and testing Salk vaccine… The secrecy and deception started before the field trials."

"One of the things the AMA was not told was that the USPHS had an advisory group made up almost entirely of scientists who were receiving money from the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, which body was exerting pressure to go ahead with the program, even after Salk vaccine was found to be dangerous."

"In May, some state public health officers met in Atlanta, expecting to be told what had gone wrong with the vaccine program. Instead, the USPHS scientist said he was not permitted to disclose what had happened because it would jeopardize the investment of the pharmaceutical firms in the vaccine program."

Suppressed reports condemning the Salk vaccine by technicians at the National Institutes of Health, was reported in, The Drug Story by Morris Bealle. Among the stories carried in this book is the one that James A. Shannon, M.D., of the National Institutes of Health in Washington, D.C., knew about the reports from the Institute's technicians in 1955, that "Salk vaccine was a killer and totally ineffective as a preventative." As a result of these reports of the Institutes Technicians, no official of the NIH would permit the vaccination of their own children with the Salk vaccine. Word of this leaked out when Robert S. Allen, Washington correspondent, reported in the New York Post, June 8, 1955, that "Doctors and others on the staff of the National Institute of Health are not inoculating their own children with the Salk Vaccine." "Nevertheless," says Mr. Bealle, "on orders from higher-ups in the U.S. Public Health Service, they kept quiet and let hundreds of unfortunate children be killed and thousands maimed for life."

By contrast, the editor of "The Lancet" (June 11, 1955) wrote: "In addition to the possibility of producing the very disease the vaccine is used to prevent, there is a risk, of unknown dimensions, that repeated injections of a vaccine prepared from monkey kidney may eventually sensitize the child in some harmful way."

In July, 1955, Dr. Graham S. Wilson, Director of the Public Laboratory Service of England and Wales (and also Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Bacteriology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), who knew about the secret field trials conducted by the NIH, announced, "I do not see how any vaccine prepared by Salk's method can be guaranteed safe." (American Capsule News, January 21, 1956). In 1967, Sir Graham S. Wilson, M.D., LL.D., F.R.C.P., D.P.H., published one of the most scathing indictments of vaccination: "The Hazards of Imminizations" (Univ. of London, The Athlone Press. 324 pages.)

An Associated Press Dispatch from Boston on August 30, 1955, reported 2,027 cases of polio in Massachusetts against 273 the same time the previous year—representing an increase of 743%. This followed the inoculation of 130,000 Massachusetts children, and the authorities banned the vaccine. Connecticut reported 276 cases in 1955, up from 144 in 1954; Vermont, 55 up from 15; Rhode Island, 122 up from 22, and Maine, 74 up from 43.

The Washington D.C. Star, September 20, 1955, reported 180 cases in Washington against 136 the same time in 1954; Maryland's Health Department reported 189 in 1955 to 134 in 1954; New York State, 764 to 469; Wisconsin, 1655 to 326. The Milwaukee Journal, on August 30, 1955, reported that the city's schools closed indefinitely because of the polio outbreak, following inoculation with the Salk vaccine. Idaho stopped Salk inoculations completely on July 1, 1955, with this blast from State Health Director Peterson said, "I hold Salk vaccine and its manufacturers responsible for a polio outbreak that has killed 7 Idahoans and hospitalized 79." By September 14th 1955, that state had 190 cases compared with 132 for the entire year of 1954. Newark, N.J. stopped inoculations in June, 1955, while Utah took similar action on July 12.

An Associated Press dispatch on November 11, 1955, quoted Dr. Herbert Ratner, Health Commissioner of Oak Park, Illinois, who said that "English authorities in July, 1955, canceled the Salk vaccine programs as 'too dangerous', and all European countries, with the exception of Denmark, have discontinued their programs." Canada also postponed its Salk vaccine program on July 29, 1955.

The New York Times on May 11, 1956, reported on Supplement No. 15 of the Poliomyelitis Surveillance Report for the year which showed 12% more paralysis in 1956 than in 1955. By January 1, 1957, 17 states had rejected their supplies of Jonas Salk's "anti-paralytic" polio vaccine. During this year very nearly half the paralytic cases and three-quarters of the non-paralytic cases in children between the ages of 5 and 14 years occurred in "vaccinated" children.

The Expert Committee on Poliomyelitis of the World Health Organization stated in its Technical Report Series, No. 145 (Second Report, p. 34 Geneva, 1958) that:

"It was noted in the Union of South Africa and in the USA, especially in the course of severe outbreaks in Hawaii and Chicago, that vaccination in the face of an epidemic did not appear to shorten its course. Laboratory and field studies have shown that vaccination does not prevent infection or interfere with dissemination of virus in the community."

Hawaii had an outbreak of polio in 1958. The Honolulu Advertiser on July 15, 1958, carried a statement by Dr. Enright of the Territorial Dept. of Health which broke down the figures as follows: "Of the 32 discovered paralytic polio cases so far this year, six had 3 Salk shots, six had 2 shots, four had one shot, the rest, none." Percentage vaccinated: 50%.

The Chicago Daily News, May 28, 1959, printed the following UPI dispatch from Duluth, MN—"One of the developers of the new oral (polio) vaccine said Wednesday the recent use of Salk vaccine in Israel had 'little if any effect.' Dr. Herald R. Cox of Lederle Laboratories,…suggested the ineffectiveness of Salk inoculations during a round table discussion at the Minnesota State Medical Association convention. Cox said a confidential report on a polio epidemic showed 90% of children under six years old in Israel were given Salk shots. But the outbreak became epidemic. It is evident that the vaccine failed," Cox said.

Polio cases rose about 300 to 400% in these 5 places that made the Salk vaccine compulsory by law:

—North Carolina: 78 cases in 1958 before compulsory shots. 313 cases in 1959.
—Connecticut: 45 cases in 1958 before compulsory shots. 123 cases in 1959.
—Tennessee: 119 cases in 1958 before compulsory shots. 386 cases in 1959. —Ohio: 17 cases in 1958 before compulsory shots. 52 cases in 1959. —Los Angeles: 89 cases in 1958 before compulsory shots. 190 cases in 1959.

By 1960, the Salk vaccine had proven to be so hazardous and ineffective, that the Journal of the American Medical Association (February 25, 1961) carried an article admitting that, "It is now generally recognized that much of the Salk vaccine used in the U.S. has been worthless."

In his statement submitted to the House of Representatives Sub-Committee on Health and Environment, 94th Congress, Dr. Thomas E. Baynes (Assistant Professor of Law at Nova University Law Center, Fort Lauderdale, FL, under a contract with HEW, CDC, No. 39204) reported to our elected officials that:

"… In 1949, a polio vaccine was only a dream…now that dream has turned into a nightmare… The extent of litigation from vaccine injuries in humans had been minimal until the advent of the Salk and Sabin vaccines…Resultant litigation from vaccine injuries will require a reevaluation of current efforts to immunize vast numbers of people from
communicable diseases."


Contrary to popular mythology, it's clear from these reports that the Salk vaccine had been a disaster. The next question is whether there had actually been a polio epidemic in the 1950s? To determine that question, several issues have to be examined.

First, was polio increasing or decreasing going into that decade? Perhaps because of the effectiveness of the PR campaign then—and the lingering mythology today—most people didn't know that paralytic polio was substantially declining before the vaccine had been used, with a drop of almost 20,000 cases between 1952 and 1954, for example. This was also true in England, where polio mortalities was at its height in 1950, but had declined 82 percent by 1956 before the Salk vaccinations began there.

But despite this actual decline of paralytic polio, the polio PR campaign cited for 1952, for example, that polio had peaked at 57,879 cases. This disparity was due to statistical "flim-flam": they swelled the statistics by combining the larger numbers of non-paralytic, "unspecified" and "abortive" polio cases with the dwindling numbers of paralytic cases. Almost two-thirds of this total were among the former—"non-paralytic"  polio—a mild expression of symptoms no more serious than a bad cold. In the minds of millions of people—then and now—polio had meant "paralysis". But by combining paralytic cases with the various milder, non-paralytic forms, the public was misled into thinking that paralysis was sweeping the land.

Thus, before the Salk vaccine began in 1955, cases that described a wide spectrum of symptoms of the disease were combined under one name: polio. That made it look like there was an epidemic. But after the vaccine was introduced, the reverse procedure was required to "demonstrate" that there were fewer cases and that the vaccine was successful. That procedure was to fractionate all those cases into several smaller classifications.

This method of "hiding" paralytic cases under names other than "polio" was discussed in 1960, during a panel discussion on "The Present Status of Polio Vaccine" (reported in the Aug.&Sept./1960 issues of the Illinois Medical Journal). One of the speakers at this panel discussion was Dr. Bernard G. Greenberg, Ph.D., head of the Department of Biostatistics of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, and former Chairman of the Commission of Evaluation and Standards of the American Public Health Association. Greenberg pointed out that after 1955, "Coxsackie virus infection and septic meningitis (polio "twins") have been distinguished from paralytic poliomyelitis. Prior to 1954, large numbers of these cases undoubtedly were mislabeled as paralytic polio."

Dr. Greenberg mentioned only two polio twins. But Dr. Ralph R. Scobey, President of the Poliomyelitis Research Institute, Syracuse, N.Y., in the Archives of Pediatrics, January, 1950, listed 170 diseases of "polio-like" symptoms and effects but with different names such as "spinal meningitis, inhibitory palsy, epidemic cholera, cholera morbus, ergotism, famine fever, billious remittent fever, spinal apoplexy, scurvy, berri-berri, pellagra, acidosis, etc." In fact, symptoms from nutritional and toxicological factors overlap much of the "various forms" of polio.

Ernest B. Zeisler, M.D., in his article, "The Great Salk Vaccine Fiasco," (Herald of Health, December, 1960) pointed out that there are over a dozen illnesses that are identical to paralytic polio. In addition, he presents a clear picture of medical guesswork that renders all polio statistics wholly unworthy of confidence:

"No attempt was made to eliminate personal bias in making the diagnosis of poliomyelitis. There are more than a dozen illnesses due to viruses other than those of poliomyelitis, which may be 'indistinguishable from paralytic polio' except by special virus studies. A physician seeing a patient with such paralytic illness at once inquires whether or not the patient has been vaccinated with the Salk vaccine, and his diagnosis is very likely to be influenced by his reply. Inasmuch as physicians have been convinced that triple vaccination is highly effective, they will make a diagnosis of poliomyelitis if there is no history of vaccination and will make a diagnosis of one of the other diseases if there is a history of triple vaccination."

"Paralytic polio" seemed well buried with the additional classifications. After 1955, non-paralytic polio also acquired a new name. It wasn't until the mid-1950's that new laboratory techniques of culturing viruses could distinguish polio from its clinical twins (i.e. aseptic meningitis, etc.). Since the Salk vaccine had begun to be used in 1955, the huge swing from the incidence of polio to aseptic meningitis following that year indicated that (1) prior to the vaccine, clinicians had been over-diagnosing poliomyelitis in most instances when they had really been cases of aseptic meningitis, or just cases involving a bad cold, and (2) the apparent decline in polio due to the Salk vaccine was merely an artifact of diagnostic methodology (more of which is described below). That was the conclusion of Michael B. Gregg, M.D., Deputy Director, Bureau of Epidemiology of the CDC, from personal correspondence to Barry Mesh, dated 11/23/77 (copy of signed letter available upon request).

Statistics bear out the above item (2): Non-paralytic polio diagnosis was based on subjective clinical observation, not laboratory confirmation. Doctors diagnosed 70,083 cases of non-paralytic polio between 1951 and 1960. They simply called it "polio" for the popular press. And during this time, not one case of "aseptic meningitis" was reported. After 1960, "aseptic meningitis" began to displace "non-paralytic polio". Non-paralytic polio became so rare that the MMWR stopped reporting it in 1983. What had been a (non-paralytic) polio epidemic before, is now an aseptic meningitis epidemic. These numbers were compiled from national surveillance reports from the MMWR for the years indicated:

Date                              Non-Paralytic Polio              
Aseptic Meningitis
1951-1960                            70,083                             
1961-1982                                 589                           
1983-1992                                     0                         

Non-paralytic polio may have "disappeared". But thousands of children still experience the same symptoms as non-paralytic polio every year. It just goes by another name now.

At the aforementioned panel discussion in 1960, Dr. Greenberg also blew the whistle on the modified diagnostic criteria for polio. Prior to 1954, the diagnosis of spinal paralytic poliomyelitis in most health departments followed the World Health Organization definition: "Signs and symptoms of nonparalytic polio with the addition of partial or complete paralysis of one or more muscle groups, detected on two examinations at least 24 hours apart." But beginning in 1955, the criteria changed to conform more closely to the definition used in the 1954 Salk field trials: "Unless there is residual involvement (paralysis) at least 60 days after onset, a case of poliomyelitis is not considered paralytic."

Obviously, more cases of paralysis had a chance to recover within 60 days, than in 24 hours. During the panel discussion, Dr. Greenberg commented, "This change in definition meant that in 1955 we started reporting a 'new' disease, namely, paralytic polio with a longer lasting paralysis [than what was required before 1955]. As a result of these changes in both diagnosis and diagnostic methods, the rates of polio plummeted from the early 1950's to a low in 1957." (a decrease of 23,500 cases from 1955 to 57.)

However, Dr. Greenberg pointed out that not even this artifactual "decline" could continue, after the Salk vaccine had been used widespread use for 2 years. He showed that nationally, paralytic polio increased about 50% from 1957 to 1958, and about 80% from 1958 to 1959.

Polio had indeed been wiped out. But in name only.



Walene James had explained the so-called polio epidemic further: Excerpt From, "Immunization: The Reality Behind The Myth", By Walene James (©1988), page 26, under the section, "Polio":

The case of poliomyelitis is particularly instructive since its apparent decrease cannot be explained by such developments as sanitation, public water supplies, ventilation, etc. In fact, it is a disease that occurs only among the most civilized peoples with the highest standards of sanitation, etc., being unknown among preliterate cultures that have been relatively untouched by civilization.

Jonas Salk, the discoverer of the Salk polio vaccine, has been called the "twentieth-century miraclemaker" and the savior of countless lives. (W6) We read glowing reports of the dramatic decrease in poliomyelitis in the United States as a result of the Salk vaccine. For instance, the Virginia State Department of Health distributes a folder which tells us that polio vaccines have reduced the incidence of polio in the United States from 18,000 cases of paralytic polio in 1954 to fewer that 20 in 1973-78. A recent article in Modern Maturity states that in 1953, there were 15,600 cases of paralytic polio in the United States; by 1957, due to the Salk vaccine, the number had dropped to 2,499. (W7)

During the 1962 Congressional Hearings on HR 10541, Dr. Bernard Greenberg, head of the Department of Biostatistics of the University of North Carolina School of Public Health, testified that not only did polio increase substantially (50 percent from 1957 to 1958 and 80 percent from 1958 to 1959) after the introduction of mass and frequently compulsory immunization programs, but statistics were manipulated and statements made by the Public Health Service to give the opposite impression. (W8)

For instance, in 1957 a spokesman for the North Carolina Health Department made glowing claims for the efficacy of the Salk vaccine, showing how polio steadily decreased from 1953 to 1957. His figures were challenged by Dr. Fred Klenner who pointed out that it wasn't until 1955 that a single person in the state received a polio vaccine injection. Even then injections were administered on a very limited basis because of the number of polio cases resulting from the vaccine. It wasn't until 1956 "that polio vaccinations assumed 'inspiring' proportions." The 61 percent drop in polio cases in 1954 was credited to the Salk vaccine when it wasn't even in the state! By 1957 polio was on the increase. (W9)

Other ways polio statistics were manipulated to give the impression of the effectiveness of the Salk vaccine were: (1) Redefinition of an epidemic: More cases were required to refer to polio as epidemic after the introduction of the Salk vaccine (from 20 per 100,000 to 35 per 100,000 per year). (2) Redefinition of the disease: In order to qualify for classification as paralytic poliomyelitis, the patient had to exhibit paralytic symptoms for at least 60 days after the onset of the disease. Prior to 1954 the patient had to exhibit paralytic symptoms for only 24 hours! Laboratory confirmation and the presence of residual paralysis  were not required. After 1954 residual paralysis was determined 10 to 20 days and again 50 to 70 days after the onset of the disease. Dr. Greenberg said that "this change in definition meant that in 1955 we started reporting a new disease, namely, paralytic poliomyelitis with a longer lasting paralysis." (3) Mislabeling: After the introduction of the Salk Vaccine, "Cocksackie virus and aseptic meningitis have been distinguished from paralytic poliomyelitis," explained Dr. Greenberg. "Prior to 1954 large numbers of these cases undoubtedly were mislabeled as paralytic polio." (W10)

Another way of reducing the incidence of disease by way of semantics—or statistical artifact, as Dr. Greenberg calls it—is simply to reclassify the disease. From the Los Angeles County Health Index: Morbidity and Mortality, Reportable Diseases, we read the following:

                                     Viral Meningitis or
Date                            Aseptic Meningitis                   
July 1955                                 50                            
July 1961                               161                             
July 1963                               151                             
Sept.1966                              256                              

The reason for this remarkable change is stated in this same publication: "Most cases reported prior to July 1, 1958, as non-paralytic poliomyelitis are now reported as viral or aseptic meningitis." (W11) In Organic Consumer Report (March 11, 1975) we read, "In a California Report of Communicable Diseases, polio showed a zero count, while an accompanying asterisk explained, "All such cases now reported as meningitis."

There have been at least three major polio epidemics in the United States, according to Dr. Christopher Kent. "One occurred in the teens, another in the late thirties, and the most recent in the fifties." The first two epidemics simply went away like the old epidemics of plague. Around 1948, the incidence of polio began to soar. (Interestingly, this is when pertussis—whooping cough-vaccine appeared, Dr. Kent points out.) It reached a high in 1949, with 43,000 cases, but by 1951 had dropped to below 28,000. In 1952, when a government subsidized study of polio vaccine began, the rate soared to an all-time high of well over 55,000  cases. After the study, the number of cases dropped again and continued to decline as they had in the previous epidemics. "This time, however, the vaccine took the credit instead of nature." (W12)

The cyclical nature of polio is again illustrated by the remarks of Dr. Alec Burton at the 1978 meeting of the Natural Hygiene Society in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Some years ago at the University of New South Wales in Australia, statistics were compiled which showed that the polio vaccine in use at the time had no influence whatsoever on the polio epidemic. Polio comes in cycles anyway, Dr. Burton said, and when it has been "conquered" by vaccines, and a disease with identical symptoms continues to appear, doctors look for a new virus because they know the old one has been "wiped out." "And the game goes on," he added. (W13)

When Dr. Robert Mendelsohn was asked about the possibility of childhood diseases—particularly polio-returning if the vaccinations were stopped, he replied: "Doctors admit that forty percent of our population is not immunized against polio. So where is polio? Diseases are like fashions; they come and go, like the flu epidemic of 1918." (W14)

On a 1983 Donahue Show ("Dangers of Childhood Immunizations," Jan.12), Dr. Mendelsohn pointed out that polio disappeared in Europe during the 1940s and 1950s without mass vaccination, and that polio does not occur in the Third World where only 10 percent of the people have been vaccinated against polio or anything else.

Returning to the congressional hearings referred to earlier (HR 10541), we read that in 1958 Israel had a major "type I" polio epidemic after mass vaccinations. There was no difference in protection between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated. In 1961, Massachusetts had a "type III" polio outbreak and "there were more paralytic cases in the triple vaccinates than in the unvaccinated." (W15)

Testimony at these same hearings from Herbert Ratner, M.D., pointed out that because poliomyelitis is such a low-incidence disease, this complicates the evaluation of a vaccine for it. He also said that there is "a high degree of acquired immunity and many natural factors preventing the occurrence of the disease . . . in the Nation at large."

Dr. Moskowitz adds that the virulence of the poliovirus was low to begin with. "Given the fact that the poliovirus was ubiquitous before the vaccine was introduced, and could be found routinely in samples of city sewage whenever it was looked for, it is evident that effective, natural immunity to poliovirus was already as close to being universal as it can ever be, and "a fortiori" no artificial substitute could ever equal or even approximate that result." (W17)


W6. Joan S. Wixen, "Twentieth-century miraclemaker," Modern Maturity,
Dec. 1984-Jan. 1985, p.92.
W7. Ibid.
W8. Hearings before the Committee on Interstate and Foreign Commerce,
House of Representatives, Eighty-Seventh Congress, Second Session on H.R.
10541, May 1962, p.94
W9. "The Disturbing Question of the Salk Vaccine," Prevention, Sept.
1959, p.52
W10. Hearings on H.R. 10541, op. cit., pp.94, 96, 112.
W11. Christopher Kent, D.C., Ph.D., "Drugs, Bugs, and Shots in the Dark,"
Health Freedom News, Jan.1983, p.26.
W12. Ibid.
W13. Alec Burton, O.D., "The Fallacy of the Germ Theory of Disease," talk
given at the convention of the National Hygiene Society, Milwaukee, WI,
W14. Interview with Robert Mendelsohn, M.D., The Herbalist New Health,
July 1981, p.61.
W15. Hearings on 10541, op. cit., p.113.
W16. Ibid. pp.89, 94.
W17. Richard Moskowitz, M.D., The Case Against Immunizations, reprinted
from the Journal of the American Institute of Homeopathy, vol.76, March
1983, p.21.


Dr. Viera Scheibner, a Principal Research Scientist (Retired) in
Australia and noted critic of vaccination, wrote in 1999:

Polio has not been eradicated by vaccination, it is lurking behind a redefinition and new diagnostic names like viral or aseptic meningitis. When the first, injectable, polio vaccine was tested on some 1.8 million children in the United States in 1954, within 9 days there was huge epidemic of paralytic polio in the vaccinated and some of their parents and other contacts. The US Surgeon General discontinued the trial for 2 weeks. The vaccinators then put their heads together and came back with a new definition of poliomyelitis. The old, classical, definition: a disease with residual paralysis which resolves within 60 days has been changed to a disease with residual paralysis which persists for more than 60 days. Knowing the reality of polio disease, this nifty but dishonest administrative move excluded more than 90% of polio cases from the definition of polio. Ever since then, when a polio-vaccinated person gets polio, it will not be diagnosed as polio, it will be diagnosed as viral or aseptic meningitis. According to one of the 1997 issues of the MMWR, there are some 30,000 to 50,000 cases of viral meningitis per year in the United States alone. That's where all those 30,000—50,000 cases of polio disappeared after the introduction of mass vaccination. One must also be aware that polio is a man-made disease since those well-publicized outbreaks are misrepresented that those huge outbreaks were causally linked to intensified diphtheria and other vaccinations at the relevant time. They even have a name for it: provocation poliomyelitis.

JAMA (1993) published that the fall in the incidence of Hib meningitis occurred in the age group below the age of one year at the time when none of the Hib vaccines were even licensed for that age group. The recent outbreaks of meningitis in the US College students can be clearly linked to the enforced MMR vaccination as a condition for enrolment to Colleges in the U.S.

Distrust Reopens the Door for Polio in India

January 19, 2003

RAMPUR, India - The little girl sat somberly, eyes large and sad, mouth an unmoving bow, legs as lifeless as a marionette's. Her face contorted in pain and frustration. Tears streamed down her cheeks. She clutched at her mother, who berated herself for her child's agony. In trying to do what she thought was right for her daughter, Tehazib Jahan had done something irrevocably wrong.  Last year, Mrs. Jahan had heard the story circulating through her Muslim neighborhood that the polio vaccine would make her child sterile. She believed it. So even though her daughter, Uzma, still needed two doses of the vaccine, Mrs. Jahan would not take her to the immunization booth. When the vaccinators came to her house, she demurred.

(My opinion: First two live polio vaccine drops gave her polio. This is why America stopped using the live version)

Three months ago, Uzma came down with a fever. Then the paralysis, polio's calling card, set in. Today the once playful 4-year-old cannot stand without help. "We are illiterate, not very intelligent," Mrs. Jahan said. "We were influenced."  Borne along by rumor and fear as much as any biological route of transmission, the polio virus - almost vanquished worldwide thanks to a cheap and widely available vaccine has made a defiant comeback in India.

In 2001, after years of aggressive mass immunizations, there were 239 new cases in the country - down from about 200,000 in the early 1980's. Officials were confident that India could eliminate the disease, as so many countries have, by the end of 2002. Instead, India had 1,509 newly diagnosed cases last year -a vast majority, 1,197, in Uttar Pradesh, the country's most populous state, and one of its poorest. Uttar Pradesh accounted for 68 percent of the polio cases worldwide.

The reason, according to government officials and community leaders, seems to be largely a rumor that the oral vaccine, given as drops, was part of a government population control scheme. No one knows how it started, but its effects are now clear. (No, that is the tetanus vaccine) 4 tetanus shots given to 14-49 yr old woman

On a recent day, another mother, Shamina, 30, initially refused doses for her three children, ages 1, 3 and 5, when the vaccinators came to her door. Her husband had told her to do so, she said. "We have heard some things about these medicines," she said as chickens pecked at her feet. "That when these children become adults - they will be useless." The resurgence of polio here has alarmed international health experts, who had aimed for the global eradication of polio by last year. Last year, polio was found in seven countries and increased only in two: Nigeria and India.

"There's a real risk of people thinking if we fail we're going to have 1,000 cases a year," said Dr. Bruce Aylward, coordinator of the World Health Organization's global polio eradication initiative. "We're not. We're going to have hundreds of thousands of cases of kids being paralyzed by a disease that was an inch away from disappearing forever."

Dr. Sobhan Sarkar, the Indian government's deputy commissioner of child health and coordinator of the national antipolio campaign, said what worried him was the spread of polio to areas where it was not previously found. The virus is spilling from Uttar Pradesh into other states. The polio outbreak has also exposed a religious, or communal, health divide. Only 17 percent of Uttar Pradesh's population is Muslim, but 59 percent of its polio cases last year were among Muslims, like Uzma. Although the rumor was repeated in Hindu communities too, health officials say it gained greatest currency among Muslims, who in Uttar Pradesh tend to be landless laborers with lower literacy rates and a greater mistrust of the Hindu-dominated government.

Many Indians have feared forced sterilization since it was carried out during the authoritarian period of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's state of emergency in 1975 Since then, government health initiatives have often been viewed warily.  That has been especially true among Muslims, not least because most government health workers are Hindu.

Some health officials said they had known for years that they were having a harder time reaching Muslim households. But Naseem Ahmad, vice chancellor of the Aligarh Muslim University in Uttar Pradesh, said the divide between Muslims and Hindus widened when the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party rose to power in the state five years ago. It is now part of a coalition government.  "Because of the political setup at the moment, with the B.J.P. in power," he said, "the impression from the illiterate and semiliterate is that anything from the present government would be to their detriment."

This is not the first fear to foil a health campaign in India. Last year, rumors that vitamin A - dispensed to reduced the incidence of diarrhea and measles and to help prevent blindness - had caused the death of dozens of children halted a public health drive in the state of Assam. (It wasn't vitamin A it was the measles vaccine)

Mrs. Jahan, who is 26, is totally unschooled. She was married at 16 or 17. Her husband rolls cigarettes for a living, and the family earns about 2,400 rupees, or $50, a month. She lives under the purdah system and so she rarely leaves the house. When she does, it is in a burka, the head-to-toe, face-covering veil. She said she did not know how the rumor got started. "We are women, confined to the household," she said. "We work and we eat."

Uzma is unusual, in that most of the polio cases here have been diagnosed among children under 2. But almost all of them have come in places where significant percentages of children - 6 percent or more - did not complete the full course of the vaccine, which involves at least four doses. (if this worked one would be needed)

Health officials say they hope that in the wake of the current epidemic the number of new cases will taper off this year, at least in Uttar Pradesh, with many children who are not immunized by the government developing natural immunity through mild exposure.

Dr. Aylward agreed that that could happen, but warned against a false sense of security. "It's going to plummet, and buy you a bit of time," he said, "then it's going to come roaring back." Mass immunization, he said, remains necessary, and that effort is under way. The government and the World Health Organization, in partnership with Unicef and Rotary International, which has given more than $500 million to fight polio, started a drive this month to immunize 150 million Indian children, many of them in Uttar Pradesh.

Where possible, the government has tried to add health workers of the same religion and social caste as the people where the vaccinations are scheduled. But officials say they have struggled to find enough Muslim women with some education and without purdah strictures to join them. Nongovernment organizations have helped fill the gaps.

With 166 million people, Uttar Pradesh is more populous than all but five of the world's countries. It has long been troubled by poor governance. Federal health officials say the repeated transfers of state bureaucrats have made it difficult to mount sustained campaigns. Health workers and those with aid organizations said that in a state where so little seemed to work, the very efficiency of the eradication drive added to people's suspicions.

"People say, `We do not have food, we do not have jobs, we do not have electricity. Why are you only after these drops? Why again and again these drops?' " said Nikhat Parvin, a Muslim volunteer with the nonprofit Adventist Development and Relief Agency. On this morning, she accompanied a vaccination team through the lanes of Ger Hassanha, a Muslim neighborhood in this bedraggled city of 300,000 people. I bet 500 million could be put to better use how about food and clean water?

Rampur district had 36 polio cases last year. Of those, 29 were among Muslims, although the district's two million residents are about equally split between Hindus and Muslims. All the cases, the district's chief medical officer, Dr. Vijay Singh said, were among the poor, those with inadequate food, unclean water and poor sanitation. In many localities, he said, human waste was simply dumped in the open, making fecal-oral transmission of the virus "very, very easy."

The team went house to house, checking to see whether the drops had been administered, giving them if they had not, and then chalking the status upon wooden doors. By 11 a.m., two mothers, both Muslims, had refused. One of them was Shamina, who said she was illiterate. But she allowed the three women with the team into her courtyard to make their pitch.

"Your children are not only your children, they are like my children," said Byant Kaur, 55, a state health worker since 1969, and a Hindu. "Why would I hurt my children?" Hamida Khan, a Unicef community mobilizer who is Muslim, joined in. "If the population decreases, who will the government rule?" she asked, as Ms. Parvin nodded.

Ms. Kaur continued, "If anything happens, you can get hold of my neck."  The mother relented, and Ms. Kaur quickly dropped in the oral vaccine.  But across the narrow lane, her neighbor, who the team knew had a 3-year-old, refused even to open the door. Instead, she shouted through it. "You are dishonest! I don't have time! I have so many other things to do!" Then she added: "My children are already grown!" (Smart woman!)

Dr. Singh said many parents, knowing they might face pressure from the government - or even the police - if they refused the drops, were now simply lying about whether they had children younger than 5. From behind the door came the last word: "I will not give the medicine to my child!" To counter the creeping rumors, the government has begun a pro-immunization media campaign featuring India's most popular actor, Amitabh Bachchan.

But as Mrs. Jahan herself observed, there may be no more effective advertisement than her little Uzma. Now that people can see from her daughter's crippled limbs that polio is real, "they do not believe the rumor," Mrs. Jahan said, almost proudly. "They see the logic in getting the drops."


Living With DDT

By K A Shaji

02 June, 2008

``I don't make my omelette from local eggs as they smell of pesticide," says carpenter TV Gireesh as he stands outside India's only DDT-manufacturing factory. DDT is a deadly insecticide banned in most countries. Located 18 km from central Kerala's Kochi city, the government-owned factory has long been accused of severely polluting the environment in the industrial belt where it is located, affecting human and animal life as well as harming crops and vegetation. Gireesh is among the increasing number of activists who want the factory shut down without delay.

The nauseating smell of DDT assaults the senses as one nears this industrial belt built around the once small villages of Eloor and Edayar. There are about 200-odd factories in the region but it is the DDT factory of the Hindustan Insecticides Limited (HIL), manufacturing DDT and Endosulfan since 1956, which has many of the area's 40,000 residents up in arms. There is by now sufficient evidence to show that water in the village's wells has become unfit for drinking and that large tracts of land are turning uncultivable by the season.

DDT is the most notorious of the 12 chlorinated chemicals identified for elimination by the world's most authoritative agreement on the subject, the Stockholm Convention of World Nations on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs). A signatory to the Convention, India has banned the use of DDT in agriculture. HIL's DDT production is thus fully export-oriented: its client list has eight African countries, including Namibia, Zimbabwe and Botswana. International groups like Greenpeace also oppose DDT production at the factory. An Empowered Committee set up by the Supreme Court on environmental issues has also called for immediate shutdown of the factory.

Environmentalists say the factory has polluted the local Periyar river. According to a study by S. Bijoy Nandan of the Central Inland Fisheries Research Institute, 16 species of fish, including eels, catfish, goby and cyprinids, have disappeared from the river. Some 30 more species are threatened; five are classified as endangered. Located adjacent to a highly sensitive wetland ecosystem, the HIL plant discharges effluents in an open creek. A 2006 study by Greenpeace and Britain's Exeter University found that water from this creek contained more than 100 organic compounds, 39 of which, including DDT, were highly toxic. "DDT and related compounds are of particular environmental concern," said Greenpeace India activist Sanjiv Gopal. "Not only are they toxic but they are also highly resistant to degradation and are liable to accumulate."

Environmentalist CR Neelakandan says besides its effluent killing birds, frogs and fish, the pollution from the DDT factory is badly affecting women. According to a health survey held this year by the Kerala government, breast cancer and complications related to reproduction are increasing in the region. Says Thankamma Ayyappan, who lives near the factory and was diagnosed with breast cancer four years ago: "Doctors have confirmed that it was caused by exposure to DDT. It is cruel of the government to run a factory that kills its own people."

SOME YEARS ago, local activists commissioned experts from the Occupational Health and Safety Centre of Mumbai, the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) of New Delhi and St John's Medical College of Bangalore to study the health problems caused by DDT. The report found that in comparison to a less polluted village in the same district, the chances of Eloor's inhabitants contracting cancer were 2.8 times higher. Children were at a 2.6 times higher risk of bodily deformities due to congenital and chromosomal aberrations. Chances of children dying due to birth defects had increased 3.8 times. Death from bronchitis was up 3.4 times and from asthma 2.2 times. Air pollution was 85 percent higher than in Kochi city. Since that report, another study by the Cochin University of Science and Technology has confirmed the high prevalence of DDT in locally available milk, fish, chicken and eggs.

But despite the overwhelming evidence, the government has refused to consider shutting down the factory. Activist Purushan Eloor, campaigning against the factory for a decade, says: "HIL's best option is to produce another product. But it has taken no R&D initiative in this regard." In 2004, the Supreme Court issued a directive to state pollution control boards to ask industries without environmental and other authorisations why they should not be shut down. Following this, the Kerala State Pollution Control Board ordered over 100 industrial units to tighten hazardous waste disposal, and served closure orders on 32 units. But the order made no difference to HIL.

Purushan claims that at a conference called last year in Senegal to discuss the status of pollution control as per the Stockholm Convention, he saw an executive of HIL distribute copies of a letter addressed to the Convention's Secretariat by the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC), which controls the HIL workers' union. The letter stated that DDT was harmless and claimed no worker associated with DDT production at the factory had been diagnosed with health hazards in the past 50 years. Purushan asks, "Why was an HIL official part of India's official delegation to a conference that aims to eliminate the production and use of DDT?"

INTUC is the major force among the 356 employees of HIL. The union is supportive of the management, as it fears job loss for employees in the event of the factory's closure. Fearful of retribution, union members refuse to talk to outsiders but, speaking on condition that they not be named, some workers said they continued to work at the factory because they had no alternative livelihood.

HIL general manager Venugopalan Nair has views similar to INTUC's. "If DDT is harmful, why has it not affected our employees?" Nair asked in a chat with this correspondent. He said the workers at the factory sleep on DDT bags and eat near the production unit and yet have stayed unaffected. But his arguments don't cut much ice with the local populace. "We want to breathe fresh air and drink clean water," says local grocer Zakeer Hussain. "People are losing their health because of the pollution caused by DDT."

James West has a very interesting take on this...please read this...James West and DDT


ABC News

Monday, October 27, 2003.
Nigerian Islamic leader declares UN vaccines unsafe
Officials in northern Nigeria have halted an immunisation drive by the World Health Organisation (WHO) designed to prevent an outbreak of polio. Three predominantly Muslim states have delayed or refused permission for the vaccination campaign after an influential Islamic leader, Datti Ahmed, declared the vaccines unsafe. He says the vaccines could be contaminated either by accident or by design. "With anti-fertility drugs, viruses that cause HIV-AIDS, Simian virus 40, things likely to cause cancers... we recommend that immunisation should be suspended until full investigation has taken place," he said. The UN's children's agency UNICEF says high-level political intervention may be needed in Nigeria, to restart polio vaccinations for children in three states.

UNICEF's health chief in Nigeria, Dr Abdullah Pinorgah, says it could mean polio taking a hold again in areas already declared free of the disease. "Parts of Nigeria that have been polio free for up to two years and more are beginning to experience transmission again. So what's going to happen is that we will get more and more widespread transmission of the virus." Nigeria has the highest incidence of polio in the world.

UNICEF Nigerian Polio Vaccine Contaminated with Sterilizing Agents Scientist Finds
      Scientist says things discovered in vaccines are "harmful, toxic"
      KADUNA, Nigeria, March 11, 2004 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A UNICEF campaign to vaccinate Nigeria's youth against polio may have been a front for sterilizing the nation. Dr. Haruna Kaita, a pharmaceutical scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, took samples of the vaccine to labs in India for analysis.

      Using WHO-recommended technologies like Gas Chromatography (GC) and Radio-Immuno assay, Dr. Kaita, upon analysis, found evidence of serious contamination. "Some of the things we discovered in the vaccines are harmful, toxic; some have direct effects on the human reproductive system," he said in an interview with Kaduna's Weekly Trust. "I and some other professional colleagues who are Indians who were in the Lab could not believe the discovery," he said.

      A Nigerian government doctor tried to persuade Dr. Kaita that the contaminants would have no bearing on human reproduction. ".I was surprised when one of the federal government doctors was telling me something contrary to what I have learned, studied, taught and is the common knowledge of all pharmaceutical scientists -- that estrogen cannot induce an anti-fertility response in humans," he said. "I found that argument very disturbing and ridiculous."

      When asked by the Trust why Dr. Kaita felt the drug manufacturers would have contaminated the Oral Polio Vaccine, he gave three reasons: "These manufacturers or promoters of these harmful things have a secret agenda which only further research can reveal. Secondly they have always taken us in the third world for granted, thinking we don't have the capacity, knowledge and equipment to conduct tests that would reveal such contaminants. And very unfortunately they also have people to defend their atrocities within our mist, and worst still some of these are supposed to be our own professionals who we rely on to protect our interests."

      Dr. Kaita is demanding that "those who imported this fake drug in the name of Polio Vaccines.be prosecuted like any other criminal."       The campaign to rid Nigeria of polio is in its fourth year. Officials there claim that all contaminated vaccines have been exhausted and replaced by uncontaminated batches.       In a rhetorical conclusion to the interview, Dr. Kaita asked "What plans has the government put in place to help children who have been given these toxic and contaminated vaccines in case they start reacting to them?"

      This is not the first time UNICEF has been embroiled in a controversy over sterilizing agents in vaccines. LifeSiteNews.com reported that in 1995, the Catholic Women's League of the Philippines won a court order halting a UNICEF anti-tetanus program because the vaccine had been laced with B-hCG, which when given in a vaccine permanently causes women to be unable to sustain a pregnancy. The Supreme Court of the Philippines found the surreptitious sterilization program had already vaccinated three million women, aged 12 to 45. B-hCG-laced vaccine was also found in at least four other developing countries.

      See the related LifeSiteNews.com coverage:


Lancet. 2004 May 8;363(9420):1509-13.   Related Articles,Links 

Failure to clear persistent vaccine-derived neurovirulent poliovirus infection in an immunodeficient man.

MacLennan C, Dunn G, Huissoon AP, Kumararatne DS, Martin J, O'Leary P, Thompson RA, Osman H, Wood P, Minor P, Wood DJ, Pillay D.

MRC Centre for Immune Regulation, Division of Immunity and Infection, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, UK. cmaclennan@mlw.medcol.mw

BACKGROUND: Individuals who chronically excrete neurovirulent poliovirus of vaccine-origin are of considerable concern to the Global Polio Eradication programme. Chronic infection with such polioviruses is a recognised complication of hypogammaglobulinaemia.

 METHODS: We did a series of in-vitro and in-vivo therapeutic studies, with a view to clearing persistent neurovirulent poliovirus infection in an individual with common variable immunodeficiency, using oral immunoglobulin, breast milk (as a source of secretory IgA), ribavirin, and the anti-picornaviral agent pleconaril. We undertook viral quantitation, antibody neutralisation and drug susceptibility assays, and viral gene sequencing.

FINDINGS: Long-term asymptomatic excretion of vaccine-derived neurovirulent poliovirus 2 was identified in this hypogammaglobulinaemic man, and was estimated to have persisted for up to 22 years. Despite demonstrable in-vitro neutralising activity of immunoglobulin and breast milk, and in-vitro antiviral activity of ribavirin, no treatment was successful at clearing the virus, although in one trial breast milk significantly reduced excretion levels temporarily. During the course of study, the virus developed reduced susceptibility to pleconaril, precluding the in-vivo use of this drug. Sequence analysis revealed the emergence of a methionine to leucine mutation adjacent to the likely binding site of pleconaril in these isolates. INTERPRETATION: Chronic vaccine-associated poliovirus infection in hypogammaglobulinaemia is a difficult condition to treat. It represents a risk to the strategy to discontinue polio vaccination once global eradication has been achieved.

Publication Types:
Case Reports
PMID: 15135598 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]  

Applied and Environmental Microbiology, August 1999, p. 3534-3539, Vol. 65, No. 8
Copyright © 1999, American Society for Microbiology. All rights reserved.

Genomic Characterization of Human and Environmental Polioviruses Isolated in Albania

Maurizio Divizia,1,* Leonardo Palombi,1 Ersilia Buonomo,1 Domenica Donia,1 Vito Ruscio,1 Michele Equestre,2 Luljeta Leno,3 Augusto Panà,1 and Anna Marta Degener4

Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health, University of Tor Vergata,1 Department of Cellular and Developmental Biology, University of La Sapienza,4 and Laboratory of Virology, High Institute of Public Health,2 Rome, Italy, and Institute of Public Health, Tirana, Albania3


Received 1 March 1999/Accepted 19 May 1999

Between April and December 1996, a serious outbreak of poliomyelitis occurred in Albania; almost 140 subjects were involved, and the episode presented an unusually high mortality rate (12%). During the outbreak, water samples from the Lana River in Tirana, Albania, and stool samples from two cases of paralytic poliomyelitis were collected and analyzed for the presence of polioviruses. Six polioviruses were isolated from the environmental and human samples, according to standard methods. All the samples were characterized by partial genomic sequencing of 330 bases across the 5' untranslated region (5'-UTR) (nucleotide positions 200 to 530) and of 300 bases across the VP1 region (nucleotide positions 2474 to 2774). Comparison of these sequences with those present in data banks permitted the identification of environmental isolates Lana A and Lana B as, respectively, a Sabin-like type 2 poliovirus and an intertypic recombinant poliovirus (Sabin-like type 2/wild type 1), both bearing a G instead of an A at nucleotide position 481. The two other environmental polioviruses were similar to the isolates from the paralytic cases. They were characterized by a peculiar 5'-UTR and by a VP1 region showing 98% homology with the Albanian epidemic type 1 isolates reported by other authors. This study confirms the environmental circulation in Albania of recombinant poliovirus strains, likely sustained by a massive vaccination effort and by the presence in the environment of a type 1 poliovirus, as isolated from the Lana River in Tirana about 2 months before the first case of symptomatic acute flaccid paralysis was reported in this town.

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