The Polio Crusade

For an American citizen, Meryl Dorey, president of The Australian Vaccination Network pays scant attention to her homelands recent history.

The tragedies caused by polio were fierce and unrelenting. ‘‘It was an atmosphere of grief, terror, and helpless rage,’’ remembered a nurse who worked on the medical wards at a Pittsburgh hospital. ‘‘It was horrible. I remember a high school boy weeping because he was completely paralyzed and couldn’t move a hand to kill himself. I remember paralyzed women in iron lungs giving birth to normal babies.’’ [….]

Four of the boys got polio that summer. One day no one could find our head counselor, Bill Lilly. He took what happened to those boys pretty hard. The police were called and, after they searched all around the lake, they found that Bill had hung himself from a tree – hung himself. We were all huddled around the beach when the police came to tell us. I’ll never forget it.’’ [Source]

As is plain in the video below by 1950 33,000 polio cases in which 50% affected children under 10 were reported. Whilst it was uncommon to catch, remote to be injured by, and extremely rare to die from polio, Americans feared it almost as much as the atomic bomb. As one who claims vaccination had no impact on polio at all – personal hygiene, public sanitation, clean water and mama’s apple pie eliminated vaccine preventable diseases – this video holds a surprise for Meryl Dorey.

In the post war years clean water and public sanitation meant less prevalence of a milder, wild type of polio virus. Previously maternal antibodies and/or exposure to this wild type from very young ages had equipped the young with sufficient immunity. Polio is taken in orally and water or vapour are it’s most common mode of infection. In a more prosperous America exposure was occurring later in life, particularly during summer months. The virus itself was more virulent and within a few seasons was also striking adults severely.

In a nutshell, as described by eloquently by Dr. Paul Offit, as sanitation improved exposure occurred later and cases rose. And so pfft! goes another well worn antivaccination lie, recently peddled by Viera Scheibner on Sunrise TV.

Of course today, anti-vaxxers carry the burning Stupid as a beacon to light their way and tend to blame almost any outbreak on vaccination. Indeed only a day or so before the video below aired, Meryl Dorey refers to this viral polio outbreak in China as “vaccine associated polio”, blaming the vaccine. Even worse, she linked to the same article as here, which kinda informs the reader by paragraph two. Even worse… well no, actually so incredibly stupid it hurts to comprehend, Dorey thinks the file picture is an account of it’s own as to what’s happening. I shag you not. She writes;

What type of vaccine do they use in China – is it oral or injected? The picture looks like someone getting oral in which case, that is most likely where the outbreak is coming from

That’s our girl! “Australia’s leading expert on vaccines” looked at the picture.

A member of her Facebook page decided to point this out. The brave Emma Hill was banned, her comment deleted to make room for vaccine blaming and business briskly resumed. Meryl hates suppression of dissent or impinging on free speech as she often opines. She just has a unique way of showing it.

Pre Ban Hammer

Post Ban Hammer

As Emma notes the outbreak is caused by WPV1 spreading from Pakistan. But in defence of Meryl, we’re now getting into facts and that just won’t do. So, back to 1950’s America.

This doco looks at the impact of increasingly devastating outbreaks, infantile paralysis, the quest for a vaccine under Jonas Salk and the development of government quality control following the Cutter Incident. As documented well, also by Dr. Paul Offit poor quality control led to live virus vaccines being distributed and consequent infection in some cases.  Program centres around Wytheville in the US.



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