by Marcella Piper-Terry
In the last several weeks there has been a growing concern about the number of children who have developed Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), which the media has reported is a “mysterious polio-like illness.” Daniel Ramirez died on Sunday, Oct. 30, after being hospitalized for two weeks with paralysis. The doctors at Seattle Children’s Hospital are “scrambling” and “desperate” to find the cause.1
KOMO News in Seattle talked with Daniel’s mother before his death in a heart-breaking video report.2 Daniel’s mother knew her son was dying. She also knows something else the media is not reporting: Daniel was vaccinated two weeks prior to getting sick.
The connection between childhood vaccination and paralysis has been known since the polio outbreaks in the 1940s and 1950s, and the knowledge was not confined to Australia. It also happened in the United States, Canada, Germany, Italy, France, and England. There is a good article by Stephen Mawdsley in The Lancet, titled “Polio Provocation: Solving a Mystery with the Help of History.”3 Mawdsley reveals some interesting facts about the association between vaccination with diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis, and the increased risk of paralytic polio in recently vaccinated children.
According to Mawdsley:
… it was not until the end of World War II that injection-induced polio emerged as a public health concern. The application of epidemiological surveillance and statistical methods enabled researchers to trace the steady rise in polio incidence along with the expansion of immunisation programmes for diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus. A report that emerged from Guy’s and Evelina Hospitals, London, in 1950, found that 17 cases of polio paralysis developed in the limb injected with pertussis or tetanus inoculations. Results published by Australian doctor Bertram McCloskey also showed a strong association between injections and polio paralysis. Meanwhile, in the USA, public health researchers in New York and Pennsylvania reached similar conclusions. Clinical evidence, derived from across three continents, had established a theory that required attention.3
Mawdsley goes on to discuss the theories about the mechanism behind polio provocation, which included the hypothesis that the act of piercing the skin during injection drove the polio virus (an enterovirus similar to EV-D68, which has been associated with the “mysterious polio-like illness” circulating in the U.S. for the last few years) into deep tissue, and from there, into the central nervous system, where it led to paralysis and sometimes, death.
“The impressive volume of literature on polio provocation by the 1950s fueled changes in health policy,”3 writes Mawdsley. “U.S. health organisations and charities, including the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Public Health Association, accommodated the possibility of polio provocation and encouraged health professionals to avoid ‘indiscriminate’ injections and ‘booster shots’ during epidemics.”3