August 29, 2021

Polio and Covid

From John Lees

Here's something remarkable that I just found out about:

Prior to the 20th century polio was not a problem disease because exposure of the whole population to the disease meant that people developed natural immunity in childhood:

Tim adds:

Polio was around but people lived with it. It's unclear what changed when it suddenly became epidemic, but it has been theorized that people lost their natural immunity as a result of cleaner water; there was always some polio in drinking water but improvements in water hygiene eliminated it and with it eliminated natural immunity.

I would add there never was any thought of government locking the country down at the time. 

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at 10:27 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 You've nailed it, Tim. I was pretty young when all this scare was about, and when the Salk vaccine became available I was right there in line to get it. Also the Sabin vaccine a bit later.

I don't think we knew anybody who'd gotten polio, but it was the big scare of the time, though as you point out, the gummint didn't go hog-wild about it.

Posted by: Dana Mathewson at August 30, 2021 10:19 PM (6H7jI)

2 It was a bit before my time but I was certainly vaccinated for polio Dana. I do know it was a big fear among the upper crust in particular at the time. Of course, the most famous polio victim was FDR, who actually hid the extent of his disease (most people didn't even know he was confined to a a wheel chair.)

Posted by: Timothy Birdnow at August 31, 2021 06:25 AM (8laC8)

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