By J. D. Heyes
(NaturalNews) Poliomylitis, or polio for short, is a disease that has been around since ancient times, and despite the medical advances we have made in the United States in terms of regular and natural health, there is still no cure for this dreaded, disabling disease.
An infectious viral affliction that attacks nerve cells and, at times, the body’s central nervous system, polio causes a phenomenon known as muscle wasting (a decrease in the mass of muscle), and can also cause paralysis and death.
“Since 1900 there had been cycles of epidemics, each seeming to get stronger and more disastrous. The disease, whose early symptoms are like the flu, struck mostly children, although adults, including Franklin Roosevelt, caught it too,” said a report in the journal A Science Odyssey.
In 1952 that all changed, when Dr. Jonas Salk, a medical student and virus researcher, developed a vaccine against polio that, two years later, was accepted for testing nationwide. The principle behind the vaccine was simple and familiar: Like the vaccine that had been developed to fight smallpox, the polio vaccine introduced a small amount of the virus into the body, which then developed antibodies and an ability to fight off more powerful strains of the disease.
Admittedly, Salk’s vaccine logged early success; some 60-70 percent of those vaccinated did not develop the disease. But it also saw some early problems. About 200 people who had been vaccinated got the disease, and 11 of them died, forcing a halt to all testing. Once it was determined that a faulty, poorly manufactured batch of the vaccine was the cause of those cases, stricter production standards were implemented and full-scale vaccinations nationwide resumed once more. Four million vaccines were given by 1955; by 1959, 90 countries were using it.
That said, those early cases were far from the last time the vaccine killed. In fact, throughout its history of use, Salk’s polio vaccine left a path of death its wake.