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The link between the first polio vaccine in 1934 and the first observed ME outbreak

Discussion in 'General ME/CFS News' started by Countrygirl, Nov 11, 2017.

  1. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    Yesterday, In response to David Tuller’s request for people who were survivors of the Royal Free outbreak, I suggested that he also speak to Dr Byron Hyde, who lives in Canada and who is one of, if not the most, knowledgeable ME doctor alive now .

    Dr Hyde, in a lecture to a US ME support group gave a most interesting lecture in 2012. He related the story of one of his patients who had been a survivor of the L.A outbreak in 1933/4.

    In the early ‘30s a serious polio outbreak occurred in Los Angeles in which one hundred and ninety-eight medical staff of the General hospital became ill with the first cases of what was to be later called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

    At that time, Dr Maurice Brodie, a Canadian researcher working in New York City, developed an early polio vaccine that was created by passaging the polio virus through mouse brain tissue as a way to weaken the virus. Meanwhile, two doctors, Dr. John R. Paul, a professor from Yale Medical School and Dr. Leslie Webster from the Rockefeller Institute, travelled to Los Angeles, California in the summer of 1934 to observe the polio outbreak there in order to collect important information. This , of course, meant that they were the first observers of the first recorded outbreak of Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME/CFS).

    The staff, prior to developing the new disease, had received the early Brodie vaccine along with several thousand children in the region. This early vaccine had an extra ingredient: an "immune serum" preserved with thimerosal, a mercury derivative that was new on the clinical scene. Following the administration of the vaccine, were the first recorded cases of ME and autism. The autism case was in a child whose doctor-parents had ensured she received the new vaccine.

    With nearly two hundred staff sick with a new, and unrecognised disease, Dr A.G. Gilliam, an assistant surgeon for the US Public Health Service, was charged with conducting an investigation of this curious new sickness. Coincidentally, Gilliam had just been investigating Brodie's polio vaccine in North Carolina where many children had been given the vaccine. He concluded that the Brodie’s vaccine was suspect and must be dis-continued.

    Strangely, Gilliam's report did not appear during the expected time frame. For some inexplicable reason, it was delayed for several months. No reason for the failure to produce the report in a timely manner has been given.

    Dr Byron Hyde, in recent years, has conducted him own investigation into the events surrounding the first ME outbreak. He discovered that Gilliam’s report maintained that the ME outbreak (not named until after the Royal Free outbreak in 1955) was caused by this immunisation and it was a human transfer of infectious material from the vaccine.

    Gilliam had a huge tussle with the chief of the US public health system of the US who did not want the information to be made public as it would deter the US population from agreeing to receiving vaccines and would put back the programme by an unacceptable period of time. Finally, it was agreed that Dr Gilliam would be allowed to publish his report: but only if he agreed to remove all reference to immunisation and his conclusion that the immunisation had caused the new disease of what was later named –Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

    Strangely, for a new disease, the one hundred and ninety-eight staff who had developed the illness were not followed up over subsequent years as the US determined to air brush the illness out of the picture in order to protect the reputation of the vaccine and not harm the new industry.

    There is another interesting twist to the story: a few of the doctor-patients received a massive payout in compensation totalling about an eye-watering hundred million dollars in today’s money. In exchange they had to agree to a gagging clause and never repeat that the Brodie vaccine was associated with the outbreak of the new disease. The financier was allegedly The Rockefeller Institute.

    Meanwhile, there was one more personal tragedy in this story: Dr Brodie at the age of thirty-six was found dead in 1939. It was assumed he committed suicide.

    It was not until 1951, that scientists started to question the safety of using animal brain tissue for vaccine production and the issue was raised whether it was possible to transfer animal retroviruses to humans via vaccines. No one knew for sure, and it was decided that science would travel forward hopefully. With any luck the answer would be ‘no’. Using animal parts would hopefully prove to be safe and infectious material would not be transmitted to humans.

    In the words of Dr Stuart of the WHO when lecturing on the use of animal brain tissue as a medium in which to cultivate viruses for vaccines in 1953: "[T]wo main objections to this vaccine have been voiced, because of the possibility that: (i) the mouse brains employed in its preparation may be contaminated with a virus pathogenic for man although latent in mice . . . or may be the cause of a demyelinating encephalomyelitis; (ii) the use, as antigen, or a virus with enhanced neurotropic properties may be followed by serious reactions involving the central nervous system.

    So did the vaccine transfer a new infection into the human population or did the medical staff become ill because of the typical double-hit theory of ME: they were fighting the polio virus and then received a major immune challenge by receiving the new Brodie vaccine?
     
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  2. pattismith

    pattismith Senior Member

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    do you know if this outbreak was restricted to the vaccinated people or did it spread to others?
     
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  3. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    I think it only affected the medical staff and it is very likely that they were all vaccinated. This needs to be confirmed though with more research.
     
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  4. alex3619

    alex3619 Senior Member

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    This research was already done years ago on this forum ... including the very long detailed USA government report on the outbreak. The first cases (two) were in 1932, and the rest in 1934. Thousands were infected, including the general population, but only a limited number were properly investigated. This followed closely after a polio outbreak, as did most ME outbreaks. If you can find that report you can get a lot of details, though the vaccine link does not get a mention. It was however discussed here on PR, though I do not think the name of the vaccine was ever mentioned.

    This would have been about 2010 that it was discussed.
     
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  5. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    On another thread about the 1934 LA outbreak, @Forbin makes an interesting point:
    This brings us back to the two-factor theory of ME/CFS outbreaks: a virus + a local environmental toxin (in this case possibly VOCs).

    Such a two-factor theory can explain why ME/CFS outbreaks never spread much further from the local area, in spite of an infectious virus being involved. In the 1984 Lake Tahoe ME/CFS outbreak, the local environmental toxin could well have been the toxic green cyanobacteria that had started growing all over the beach of Lake Tahoe at the time of the outbreak (see this post).



    In this post about abortive infections as the cause of ME/CFS (Dr Lerner's theory), I speculated that immune weakness (which could be due to environmental toxins or corticosteroids) during the time of contracting an acute viral infection may give the virus the opportunity to set up an abortive infection in the body, which then leads to ME/CFS, according to Dr Lerner's theory.



    I guess it is not beyond the realms of possibility that the experimental vaccine inadvertently contained an unknown virus that had some immune weakening effect, such that when staff were later hit by the virus of the polio outbreak (I presume the polio outbreak arrived after the vaccination), they developed ME/CFS, or an ME/CFS-like condition; but in the absence of any supportive evidence for that dodgy vaccine theory, to me the local environmental toxin theory sounds more plausible.



    @Valentijn uploaded a 90 page document about the 1934 outbreak here. Also available here. Nothing about vaccines is mentioned, though.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  6. ash0787

    ash0787 Senior Member

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    I saw something about vaccine recently actually, they said there is not the same standard of testing which is applied to regular drugs and the watchdog overseer group is corrupted, its hard to legally pursue anything if a vaccine happens to not be safe, I dont know if its all true but it seems convincing. If thats the case now though imagine how it was in the 1930s.

     
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  7. Chrisb

    Chrisb Senior Member

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    Countrygirl and Molly98 like this.
  8. *GG*

    *GG* Senior Member

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  9. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    I gather that this was a live vaccine. How does this compare with the Salk vaccine which was also grown in animal tissue but inactivated?
    I haven't closely followed this discussion but wonder if there has been any association between the Salk vaccine and ME/CFS?
     
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  10. Hip

    Hip Senior Member

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    There is a theory that the widespread introduction of poliovirus vaccination later led to an increase in coxsackievirus B-linked conditions like ME/CFS and type 1 diabetes. But in that theory, ME/CFS is not directly due to the polio vaccine itself, but to the fact that vaccination eradicated natural polio infection, which may have provided some protection against coxsackievirus B via cross-immunity.
     
  11. Stretched

    Stretched Senior Member

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    There’s some 1950’s reference on PR on this subject. It goes on to surmise that Salk didn’t want a copyright on the vaccine
    because he thought it might not be 100% effective, might only temporarily cease the virus(es), or may have negative effects, re the 30’s outbreak. Also, big picture, I recall the concerns over the contamination from monkeys who had been inoculated, escaped back into the jungle and we’re later recaptured and experimented on. All of this was concerns for uncertain effects of different brews of the similar vaccines’ efficacy. There were some time intervals involved in this big picture... .
     
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  12. Sushi

    Sushi Senior Member Albuquerque

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    Interesting--I wonder if we will ever know more. I had the Salk vaccine which makes it a personal question.
     
  13. Stretched

    Stretched Senior Member

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    Likewise, which adds to worries. Monkeys = a whole spectrom of viruses, HIV et al. I believe there’s a PR member, Dr. John (?) Martin, who published circa 1995 and later, some highly esoteric research on the Siminian macaques and the vaccines related to this topic,

    This article can put you on the trail; Anapsid.org:
    Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases
    Information on CFS, FM, MCS, Lyme Disease, Thyroid, and more...Last updated
    January 1, 2014

    SV-40 Contamination of Poliovirus Vaccine
    Dr. W. John Martin, Center for Complex Infectious Diseases
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  14. SilverbladeTE

    SilverbladeTE Senior Member

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    One of the huge problems with vaccines regarding genuine safety and accountability of testing etc, is that governments underwrite vaccines.
    While obviously a seemingly good and necessary idea...this causes an incredibly pernicious feedback cycle that inevitably causes extremely dangerous corruption and cover ups.

    if a vaccine causes harm, the potential lawsuits will be enormous, billions, possibly trillions of dollars
    even worse, such upset may bring down governments
    Thus governments will move heaven and earth to cover up any such problems, regardless of the threat.
    After all, the rich and powerful can afford better vaccines or healthier lifestyles....

    note: I do accept the utility of vaccines and Innoculation Theory
    vaccines have saved billions of lives
    but as usual with Humans, we take things to extremes, and there is too much corruption and stupidity :(
    the ends do NOT justify the means
     
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  15. Forbin

    Forbin Senior Member

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    I'm not sure if the timeline works out on this.

    I've looked at LA Times articles of the period and one says that three doctors involved in the Park-Brodie vaccine, including Dr. Park, inoculated themselves with it on July 5, 1934 to see it was safe to give to children.

    However, the LA County Hospital outbreak of possible ME cases, as recorded by Dr. Gilliam, began in late May and the incidence peaked in June, before the doctors had tested the vaccine on themselves.

    I suppose it is possible that they gave the vaccine to the staff of LA County Hospital before testing it on themselves (I haven't seen anything that confirms this), but would the creators of the vaccine then have been likely to have tested it on themselves if they had heard about bad reactions at LA County Hospital?

    I've seen articles of the period extolling the bravery of doctors for testing vaccines on themselves, yet there is nothing in the LA Times of that time concerning the staff at LA County volunteering to be test subjects. Vaccine testing was big news at the time.

    Another article indicates that the Park-Brodie vaccine was to be tried on 700 children in Bakersfield, California, during a polio outbreak there in February 1935 - six months after the LA County Hospital outbreak. I'm not aware of a subsequent M.E.-like outbreak in Bakersfield. In addition to the children, doctors and nurses were also given the Park-Brodie vaccine in Bakersfield.

    Dr. Joe Smith, the health officer for Kern County, where Bakersfield is located, said, "When the epidemic hit Los Angeles last year and doctors and nurses were getting the disease, it had a tendency to break down the morale of those attending the victims. All of our doctors and nurses here attending infantile paralysis cases have been immunized and not one of them has contracted the disease."

    I wonder if this "breakdown of morale" was a euphemism for the development of ME-like symptoms.

    The Park-Brodie vaccine seems to have been much safer than the contempory Kolmer vaccine, which actually induced polio in some and lead to several deaths. The problem with the Park-Brodie vaccine was that it didn't work. It offered no protection against polio at all.

    Yet another article indicated that Dr. Gilliam himself, together with the Public Health Service, was working with state officials in coordinating a trial of the Park-Brodie vaccine in Richmond, Virginia at the end of July 1935. They had already vaccinated 400 children in North Carolina, and none had developed polio. However, the article also points out that none of the unvaccinated controls had developed polio either.

    Ironically, Brodie was on the right path. He was trying to create a vaccine by inactivating the polio virus with a solution of formaldehyde called "formalin." This was the same method that Dr. Salk used to create his successful vaccine in the 50's.

    Unfortunately, Brodie was working before his time. In the 1930's the polio virus had not yet been isolated. It had simply been inferred as being much smaller than a bacterium. It wasn't until after Brodie's death that the virus was first seen by electron micrography.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2017
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  16. halcyon

    halcyon Senior Member

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    What is the reference for this? It's well documented that some (but not all) of the 198 staff cases were given prophylactic convalescent serum from polio patients, but I've never seen anything about a vaccine being used.
     
  17. Murph

    Murph :)

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    I'm certainly open to a link with the eradication of polio but when this roped in the Rockefellers I felt we were about a paragraph away from the illuminati being mentioned too.

    Conspriacy theories are terrific fun, and they start from a germ of truth. That makes them memetically fit. But they're mostly wrong. Without a lot more footnotes I'm writing most of this one off.
     
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  18. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    Most my information on this came from Dr Hyde's lecture in about 2011 and he obtained his information from his doctor-patient who had been a victim of the ME epidemic. The remaining information also came from Dr Hyde, but via another doctor who questioned him on what he knew about the outbreak.

    @Hip Just want to say thank you for your fascinating post which provides much to follow up........brilliant as always! :thumbsup:

    and to @Forbin for all the additional information. Excellent stuff! :)

    I look forward to learning more about the outbreak and perhaps we can get to the truth or near it.
     
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  19. Countrygirl

    Countrygirl Senior Member

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    Yes, I know but it is all too easy to dismiss such claims as 'conspiracy theory. Many are; but not all.

    As I understand it, the Rockefeller Institute had much to lose if the Brodie vaccine failed and, if so, then I think it is quite believable that 'brown envelopes' were passed under the table to 'persuade' the doctors not to spread their suspicions. This is does happen in such circumstances and it seems to feature all-too-often on the BBC news It happens even in my village, (proved by a ITV 'sting' and then broadcast) so I have no doubt it happens when powerful people or institutions are determined to protect their interests.

    It would be an interesting piece of research to examine the Rockefeller's interest in the vaccine, or future vaccines, and why they might pay to bury any criticism of the imminent roll-out of the vaccination programme.
     
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  20. HowToEscape?

    HowToEscape? Senior Member

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    There’s no safe space in real life. Any form of medicine that works is going to have some element of risk. I rather wish I didn’t have a messed up immune system and I could get all of the new vaccines that are available.

    As it is my M.E doc ( A famous specialist) advises me against any further vax, but I requested & get the flu shot every year anyways. That’s been a big plus, instead of being knocked down with a month of misery, I’ve had only moderate colds in the 9 years I’ve been sick and I’ve also gotten the shot. The two times I didn’t I got much more winter bug misery, whether that was flu or cold I’m not sure. Since functional time where I can do things is counted in hours not days losing that time is a big deal.
    One of the things that may have added up to ME was a couple rounds of pneumonia. Now there’s a vaccine for pneumonia; if I had that vaccine perhaps I would’ve stayed well enough to keep working and have a sort of normal life.

    The only medicines that are completely harmless are chicken soup, puppies and kittens.
    Except those are not medicines.
     
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