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Hey, everybody. You may not know this yet. And if you don't prepare to be blown away, we are creating right now the first ever stuffies should no book. It's called Stuff You Should Know Colon, an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things. And you can preorder it now. That's right. And if you preorder everyone, there is an incentive because you get a free gift. And don't worry if you've already preordered, because you can just head on over to stuff.

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You should read books, dot com. It's a very beautiful little Web page and it's got all the information. And if you already preordered, can't you just, like, upload your receipt and get that preorder gift yet? You can. And they will mail it off to you and you will get it in the mail. You say, oh, thank you. Don't mind if I do. And it's a poster that you will love and cherish and possibly pass on down to your children as an heirloom.

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That's right, everyone. We couldn't be more excited about this book. It's really coming together. Well, it's us through and through. And you can go check out some excerpts at stuff. You should read books, dot com.

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Welcome to Step. You should now production of Radio's HowStuffWorks. Hey, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Josh Clark. There's Charles to be Chuck Brian over there. This is stuff you should know. Polio cast. That's right.

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Before we get going, though, we want to tell everyone that we have a book coming out called Stuff You Should Know Colon, an incomplete compendium of mostly interesting things that you can buy and preorder online.

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And preorders are very it's a very big deal to preorder the book. It's never knew what a big deal it was. But preorders are very important for the author. Are they? I didn't really hold his value. Now I'm kind of worried. Now they're a big deal. Well, yeah, it gets a very big gap. You won't regret preordering the book about that.

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And why? Because you get a special gift. Not only that, you get a special gift for sure. You just go upload your receipt at stuff. You should read books, dot com. But also the book itself is really great, too. I think you're going to like it, 26 full, robust chapters. They're going to just knock your socks off and it's 100 percent stuff you should know.

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That's right. And we get great illustrations by Carly Manado. We had a great writer working with us named Nels Parker. And a great publisher and flat iron. And we're just super excited about it. And we appreciate your support. Yep. So you can go preorder that book everywhere. OK. Wow. Chuck Burgan, really good at that.

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Now let's talk polio. So not get it.

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It's transitioning. No, we're not. We never have. No.

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So polio. I was when I was researching this, I kept running across whenever I typed in polio. You know, that auto suggests in the search bar it would say things like, does polio still exist? And it absolutely does. But it's one of those diseases that we're really, really close to eradicating thanks to an extraordinarily robust vaccination campaign. One of the first really big vaccination campaigns in the history of the world. And it was also one of the most successful to so much sugar that we're down to just three countries.

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I believe Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria are the only three countries where polio is still endemic, where, like, you can just walk around and catch polio. And there are outbreaks in other countries. We'll talk about exactly why. But it went from this global worldwide problem at the beginning of the 20th century, down to three countries. And we're like that close to to getting rid of it forever from the playwright, basically. Yeah.

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So it's interesting to read about polio and its vaccine during the middle of our own pandemic with the Corona virus and Koban 19 causers. There's a lot of similarities and overlap. It's interesting. There's a pandemic on that. So I haven't seen you in three months. I know. Are you getting used to yet? I mean. Sure. Just as anyone gets used to something that stinks. Oh, thank you.

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I mean not seeing, I mean everything, but sure that's part of it. That's for sure. Part of that.

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But we're talking about it for sure because there are some some real similarities for sure.

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Yes. So polio is the disease. But polio virus is the enterovirus, which is a virus of the intestinal tract, which is an RNA virus like Koven 19. But the disease itself, like Kove, it is the sickness. Polio is the disease as corona virus is the polio virus. I mix that all up, but I think it's right.

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So corona viruses to covered what, polio viruses to polio? Yeah, that's the cleaner way to say it. Right.

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And then apparently polio specifically, if you say, oh, this person my grandfather had polio, you're not talking about just a polio infection. There's a specific kind of disease that you can get from the polio virus where you detect your central nervous system and can cause all sorts of problems. And that specifically is what somebody's saying when they say they had polio, which is in that case called polio myelitis, which is what people are talking about when they say when they're talking about polio, the disease.

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Yeah, because a lot of people got the polio virus, didn't know it had no symptoms. Your body kicks into gear. That immune system just fights it off. You've got those antibodies for life and that's it. That happened a lot. But, yeah, like you said, if you if you get polio, that means that it hitcher your central nervous system. And we'll get more into detail about all this. But polio virus is where it colonizes is in the throat and the digestive system.

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Right.

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And we're talking about your feces being contaminated or infectious and contaminated and your saliva depending on how you get it.

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So there's basically two ways to pass it along, either with your poop or with your saliva. And the fecal transmission is much more prevalent, especially in the developing world, because of poor sanitation. And like if you look at just the natural history of the virus of the polio virus, its ideal is to just replicate. Right. That's the whole purpose of viruses, is make as many copies of itself as possible. And so living in though, the water, the drinking water supply and then infecting people, infecting their gut, replicating being passed is feces back into the water supply to infect other people.

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But without, you know, really developing symptoms in people, that's ideal for for the the virus itself. Every once in a while, though, I think in about one quarter of people who become infected, the the the polio virus will enter the bloodstream. It'll leave the gut and into the bloodstream. And we'll produce what's called viremia, where it infects the blood. It starts to infect other organs. And those people will develop flu like symptoms for a couple of days.

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That's easy. Yeah. Still not that bad. Probably nothing. We would have mounted a global eradication campaign against. It's just that in a very small proportion of people who become infected. The polio virus not only infects the bloodstream, it actually travels to the central nervous system and attacks that. And then that is the real problem that comes from polio. What we were talking about earlier, polio myelitis.

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Yeah, and no one knows why that happens. No one knows. I mean, basically, they just think it's it is completely random. I mean, that's that seems to be the case of whether or not you get the paralytic version or not. It is. Not many people, but when you spread those numbers out, it can be a lot of people. So when you look at numbers like point, five percent of everyone infected have paralysis. If you look at a human population, that's a lot of people, right?

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Yeah. When it went, yeah, it was just a very small percentage. Everybody or a ton of people around the world in first centuries have, you know, an infection. It does add up big time for sure enough. So. And so not just the number also, Chuck, but just the devastating effects that polio can have, poliomyelitis can have on a person. It's, um, it's a really bad jam because not only can it cause what's called a cute, flaccid paralysis where your your motor neurons or your muscles are attacked so that you can't use your muscle in your your limbs starts to wither, maybe you just become fully paralyzed.

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It can also travel to your brain and affect things like your swallowing reflex or breathing. And so it can very, very easily kill you when it starts to progress to the central nervous system phase of polio myelitis.

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Yeah, and there's no treatment for polio. And we'll talk about the vaccine here in a minute to a great extent. But it's just like any other virus. He let it you let it run its course, your body will probably do the right thing and step up and fight it back and not let it get to your bloodstream. But like you said, even if it gets to your bloodstream, you might just get sick. Right. But that point, five percent chance that you actually have the paralytic version, there is no cure for that.

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No. Which is weird. I was like, so what you're you know, you're just a goner if you get pilot poliomyelitis or that's what the case was. And apparently your body can still fight it off. You can get polio myelitis. And if you receive the proper care. One of the one of the better inventions to combat polio is called the iron lung, which would breathe for you using a bellows and negative and positive pressure to move your chest up and down like that can keep you alive long enough to give you a chance for your body to fight off the infection with your immune system.

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But like, that's not a cure. That's just keeping you alive long enough for your body to fight it off. It was really surprising to me that there's still, to this day, no treatment for polio.

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Yeah, I can't help but think of the big Belski when I think of iron lungs, who is in an iron lung and that remember, when they go to visit, they think the kid stole the car.

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Or they found it. They found the kids schoolwork in the back of the car and they go to his house and it was this. This former TV writer who who's inside and he's in an iron lung.

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I genuinely don't remember that. I'm sure I'm being shouted at by some of our listeners.

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But sorry, it was played for laughs. The one I think of is Ralph Macchio and the outsiders after he gets burned from running in that house to save those. He in an iron lung. That's what I thought. And so I looked it up to verify. There's no mention of it. So I guess when I was a kid, I just made up that Ralph Mattio is in an iron lung in The Outsiders.

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If I'm not mistaken, he was just had a, I guess, what you would call a respirator today. Okay. But was any Ronald vibrators back then? Yeah, I think he was. I think he was face down in traction and suspended and on a respirator.

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From that was taken by my my tiny little impressionable brain. Translated that into an iron. OK, Steggles. My brain hasn't gotten much better, Chuck. Sure it has. So so you can survive. You can fend off a polio infection even with polio myelitis. But the problem is, is it very frequently would would not let you survive. It would kill you. And so, like we said, just mounting this campaign became kind of paramount.

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But polio is tough. Because they think it's such an old virus. They think it's been around for a very, very long time. And that's kind of evidenced by the fact that polio is it's only humans that that it lives in and tries to replicate. And there's it's not like other viruses where there's, like reservoir animals that it can it can hang out in in just basically stay alive until it can infect a human. It's just humans, basically, although there was a case in 1966 of some chimps becoming infected from humans with polio in that cell.

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Really? Yeah.

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And if we need to if you need to go over viruses again, folks look no further than the recent stuff you should know. Classic from March 20th virus. Talk with Josh and Chuck.

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That was from March 20th, the rerelease. What do you what do we call those classic gotcha celestials Selex?

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Aren't you like one half of this podcast?

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I am, but I call them classics in my brain. I don't know what the official branding is.

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Selex. Yeah. Like we have hand selected this classic episode. Yeah. Classics. I still think it's nice if you scramble the words Selex classics is in there somewhere but you think spelled.

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But yeah, that one just came out recently so that'll catch up on what a virus is. But should we take a break and talk a little bit about the ancient history perhaps of polio?

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Yes. All right. We'll be right back. Everybody.

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Terrazzano gone. Word up, Jerry. All right. So engine ancient history. We don't know exactly where polio started because old diseases have shoddy record keeping. Sure, they just didn't keep up with stuff like they do now. But we do. You know, if you looked at some of the mummies in ancient Egypt, you might see some limb deformities that could have been polio. Yeah, there are paintings on walls and things that maybe could be polio.

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But this is us extrapolating this from a modern lens. You know, those limbs could have been smashed in a. You know, heavy object accidents as well. You never know. A combined accident. Well, he's going to say that, but they didn't have to.

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So a barge accident. How about that? Okay, so like over the years, people were studying polio. And I mean, we kind of started to get a pretty good handle on it. We didn't understand what viruses were. So we didn't know it was a virus until the 19th or 20th century. Know the 20th century, I think. Nineteen oh eight. Our old friend Carl Lance Steiner, who developed blood types, was also one of the two people who identified the polio virus in 19.

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No way. But other people had contributed up to that point, like it was recognized as being an epidemic disease, that there were outbreaks, that kind of stuff. But everybody was kind of okay with polio existing like it was not something that we were happy about, but nothing that like there was this great urgency to cure until about the beginning of the 20th century. And they think that that people living together close in close quarters, urbanization and better sanitation led to polio outbreaks that hadn't been seen before because the better sanitation produced a population that had not been exposed to polio virus.

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Yeah, that's seems counterintuitive. It does, but it makes sense because if you've got a virgin population, that thing can just hop from person to person to person. Whereas if you have an endemic population where any proportion of the population is already immune from having been exposed to the virus before, cause don't forget. Remember, we said a lot of people, most people think 75 percent of people who are infected never even show any signs or symptoms. So if you don't have people like that anymore because of improved sanitation, but you also don't have a vaccine program, you've got a virgin population that a virus can just run rampant in.

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And that's somewhat familiar that it does. That's what started happening in the early 20th century. And it started scaring the bejesus out of parents because it was largely affecting kids.

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Yeah. And it happened in clusters because it was so easily transmitted. And like you said, with the Virgin population, there would be these big outbreaks. And that causes panic with parents, especially in 1916 in the U.S.. Six thousand people died from polio and about 27000 paralytic cases, 1952, 21000 paralytic cases.

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And also, we said in our in our book, you remember in the Mr. Potato Head chapter that polio outbreak is what made Mr. Potato Head one of the big the first big tolerates because so many kids were stuck at home that summer because of a polio outbreak. That's right. And that's exactly what happened because, you know, kind of mirroring what we're seeing now is they would shut down parks and swimming pools and schools and public events.

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And America rallied behind it back then and said, yes. That's what we should do for the good of the public.

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It's not happening now, unfortunately. But back then, everyone got onboard between.

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I think a quarter of a million and 650000 Americans were alive at any given time in the 20th century that had lifelong issues caused by polio.

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Right. That's a lot of people. I mean, that's a real problem. You know, that's not over the 20th century. That's at any given point in the 20th century. Right.

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Yet at any given point. So you can kind of understand by around then, you know, especially when when people we're seeing entire classrooms of children struck down, you know, with polio, some of whom, you know, went on to have lifelong mobility issues, some of whom died, that that was that scared parents a lot. And it scared everybody so much so that it kind of laid the groundwork for this big national and actually an international push toward coming up with, if not a treatment, which they tried at first and found that was not happening then a vaccine for polio.

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And that's exactly what we did. We BNA Beeman's. Yeah.

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And a big driver for this vaccine was a little organization called the March of Dimes, which was originally founded in 1938 by Franklin Roosevelt. It's called the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis.

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And I never knew this, but they had a march and people would send dimes as donations to the organization. And that's why it's called the March of Dimes. Right. It's amazing.

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And because of that, because of all those individuals sending in dimes to the March of Dimes or to the the Infantile Paralysis Foundation that laid the groundwork for the financial support for all this research that was going on, specifically for the research of one of the guys who came up with a vaccine for polio because we actually have more than one. But them the most famous of them all was Jonas Salk, who came into the picture in about 1947. And because of those dimes that were contributed by average everyday people, because those that money directly funded his research.

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He very famously refused to patent the the vaccine that he came up with for polio and just said this belongs to the world. Yeah, just like a farmer brewpubs same. Exactly, say Morel's, right? Right.

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So this is a good chance. I'm glad when we get to do shows like this, because Jonah Salt gets so much credit and deservedly so, as a genuinely great human that walked the planet. But there are a lot of people had chipped in over the years to get this vaccine where it was. And we get a chance to talk about those people now, which is always fun. In the 1940s, late 1940s. John Franklin Endres, Thomas Huckle Weller and Frederick Chapman Robins, all three serial killers.

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That's right. They figured out how to grow the polio virus culture in a lab, which if you want a vaccine, that's the first big step, is to grow that culture in a lab. And they won in 1954 for those efforts. They won the Nobel Prize in medicine, which is great. Yeah, it was. So the first there was a huge first step. Like you're saying, the people had tried to create a vaccine even before that.

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First step, though, I guess the old fashioned way, Brody and Colmar, John Colmar, I don't know Brody's first name, but they when they were working together, they created a vaccine that actually killed five of their 10000 test subjects, which was not it wasn't good. And it actually kind of set the whole the whole vaccine movement back a hint. But astoundingly, it didn't kill it. And it rather than saying like, no, we're not going to try this.

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People looked at polio cases and said, this is so bad, we need to keep pushing forward despite that. And so by the time salt came along and started working on his vaccine, you know, people were already a little jumpy about the idea. And it was made all the more so that he was trying an unproven form of vaccine. Whereas, yes, vaccines used attenuated virus switches is it's Leive, but it's a weakened version of the virus.

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And it's in a it's in a much smaller dose. What that what Salk was suggesting, what he wanted to use was a inactivated virus, which is it's dead in the in the sense that it can't replicate any longer. It's been treated with formaldehyde. But, yeah, it's a huge dose of it. So if it's not dead, you're in big trouble. Yeah, that was a big deal of time because it was new science. And a lot of scientists said that.

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I don't think he could administer this much, even kill the virus safely. And so what you had was a couple of different things going on. A couple of potential pathways to take was give a little bit of that weakened virus that's still alive to kids, which we know is going to infect them with the virus. So it's going to generate those antibodies, but hopefully it's not going to be strong enough to get to that central nervous system point of infection.

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Right. Or a super dose them with this inactive virus. And that's going to cause antibodies in the blood. So that will 100 percent prevent polio from happening. That will keep it from going to the central nervous system. They knew that. Right. And that's great news. But, boy, you better be sure that that virus is perfect, because if it's not, then you're in big trouble. Right.

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And not only not only that, that's that's a big risk with it. But if you do it right, if the risk goes very close to zero. The other problem with it is because it produces antibodies in the bloodstream, that leaves out the gut, which means that you could still be infected by polio and coloniser gotten replicate and be passed in your feces. But because you have those antibodies in your in your bloodstream, it's going to protect you from ever developing poliomyelitis.

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Yeah, they were trying to stop the disease, not stop the virus. Right. Well, it depends on the paradigm, like the one that, in effect, you with polio is going to prevent the any polio virus from ever colonizing your gut ever again. So it depends on which approach you where you're coming from. And over the course of some, you know, a couple of decades, both came into use enough around the world that we actually have come close to eradicating polio thanks to this combination of both of them.

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Yes, assault developed a two part test that he used on himself and volunteers, and then in 1954, you had to you know, this was you had to get a massive PR campaign behind this, like in a big way because they had to vaccinate a million children. They were called the polio pioneers. And even though it was.

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Even though it look good, it's still a big deal to vaccinate a million kids with this new vaccine that you're not quite sure about yet, but they figured just that was their only choice. They're like, we can't just let polio continue to thrive and paralyze and kill our children. We have to take a chance with these pioneers. Right.

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So so during this polio pioneer experiment, it was actually, from what I saw, the first double blind in a major public health study. So no one knew whether they were getting the placebo or not or getting the vaccine. But one segment of this group of polio pioneers, 200000 of them were given the vaccine with, but that wasn't inactivated. So is a huge dose of still alive. Polio vaccine in 40000 of those, 200000 people came down with polio.

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200 of them were kids who developed paralysis and ten died.

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And this was huge, huge. Like, can you imagine a setback like that where 200000 kids were given a vaccine that hadn't been done properly like that would just stop it in its tracks now. But again, because polio was so bad, America at the time was feeling very utilitarian and said, you know, 200 kids developing paralysis is horrible. But without this vaccine, you know, in 1952, 27000 had developed paralysis. So, again, they still push forward, even with the government temporarily suspending vaccination programs or this this test, I believe American parents still move forward in vaccinated their kids anyway, with this this Salk, what came to be known, the IPV or inactive polio virus that that Salk developed?

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That's right. The inactivated polio virus vaccine. Right. Which is still around today and again, doesn't prevent the infection. But it does prevent the bloodstream from moving it on to the central nervous system.

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Right. Which is. So that's polio myelitis. That's, again, what people mean when they say polio. That's right.

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Should we take another break and talk about the other vaccine? Yes. All right. We'll be right back to talk about the cheaper vaccine right after this.

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Terrazzano got. Word up, Jerry. All right, so there's another guy who is somewhat famous, but not nearly as famous as Jonas Salk, Salk. He announced his findings on CBS Radio and became like a household name overnight. I think America was kind of smitten with him because he had tested the vaccine on himself, his wife, his three sons, sterilizing syringes in his own kitchen. And he was very much derided by his main rival, a guy named Albert Sabin or Sabon.

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I'm not sure which way you pronounce it. I don't think it matters at this point. Oh, that's a good one. Let's go with Sabine. So Albert Sabine. He came up with while we were talking about the other kind of vaccine, an attenuated virus that had a lot of advantages over Salk's virus sulks vaccine. But because Salk had kind of beaten him to the punch in America, Sabine was was forced to kind of go outside of the United States to test his his vaccine.

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And he ended up testing his in the USSR, I believe. Yeah. And like you said, his was attenuated. So it was live. And it was actually a really infectious strain. But something about the strain. It just seemed to not to go to that central nervous system and infect the central nervous system nearly as much. Right. So he went to the Soviet Union, tested more than 10 million people there in the 1950s, and they said whatever Russian is four thumbs up.

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Way to go. Great. Great job. Great ski. And it was widely used and came into the U.S. in the 1960s. So then all of a sudden, we have two vaccines. We got the IPV that you have to inject. At first they thought it was had to be boosted every few years, but it was, in fact, a forever injection. The best kind. Right. There were. It was very safe. There were no systemic reactions.

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The cost was high, which was kind of a problem at the time. All right. As opposed to the lower costs of the OPV, which was Aurel. And you gave it on sugar cubes. Right. So there's a lot of advantages with this OPV over the IPV. And as a result between the advantages, I mean, just lower cost alone would make public health officials be like, we should go with that. But that whole the Kutter incident where 200000 kids were accidentally given active polio.

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That that really kind of shook people in Salk's vaccine enough that his vaccine got supplanted by Sabine's OPV oral polio virus vaccine. And that became the standard in the United States from about the early 60s, up to, I guess, 2000, basically, right?

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Yeah. And I think we failed to mention there were three types, three serotypes one, type two and type three and OPV. You could get all three of those types under that one sugar cube. Right. Which is great. And if you have if you're infected by one of those serotypes, it doesn't give you antibodies against the other two. Right. And a vaccine for one doesn't protect against the other two. So he had to get inoculated against all three.

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And Sabeen, remember, he found a strain of polio virus that was very infectious but didn't attack the central nervous system very, very much. And he actually identified strains for each one of those types. They kind of fell into that category. But the thing is this. Remember, we said that with and with a activated an attenuated live virus, you are actually being given polio virus and you are being infected with polio virus. And so that means that you can actually you are shedding polio virus in your feces.

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So let's say you want to start a vaccination campaign in an area that has poor sanitation and a lot of resistance to a vaccine campaign. Well, if you can just get in there and vaccinate a few people, they're going to go and shed that polio virus in their feces. And because it's this weakened strain that weakens, strain will go on and infect other people in the community who drink this. Tainted drinking water. And they will kind of become what's known as passively vaccinated by the Saux, another advantage in developing areas as well.

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But there were some major problems with this this vaccine and still remain today, mainly because this is a live virus that you're being you're being infected with on purpose.

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Yeah, and because it's live, even though it's weak, very. And, you know, I don't know about the word rare, but very few cases. And they think immunodeficiency had a lot to do with it. You could contract polio, you could get the paralysis and you could possibly die. That was known as VAP vaccine associated paralytic polio myelitis.

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And that's no good, even if there are very few cases. That's not great for your PR campaign. But not only that, because it was a live virus, they could still replicate. They also found that when it entered your gut and colonized there, some sometimes it could undergo a type of mutation. So that what came out the other end in your feces was actually a basically a new version of the strain that you had been given. And sometimes it was way more infectious.

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Sometimes it was way more deadly. And that would be what you pooped out into the local water supply. And at first, again, compared to like the wild strains of the three types of polio virus that were out there in the world. At first, like, it didn't matter like that happen infrequently enough that that just keep going with this oral vaccine because it's really, really working. But as it became more and more effective in fewer and fewer people had polio, the idea that you were giving them a vaccine that could actually produce a virulent strain became a real problem.

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And as a result, people said, well, wait a minute, we need to figure out what to do about this vaccine because we really need to start figuring out how to phase this out.

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That's right. And is this where the Dutch entered the picture? I believe so, yeah. And you might think what they have to do with it.

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They were studying Salk's IPV this whole time. They were using it. They're researching it. They were funded by their own government to do so. And they made it more more robust, basically against all three types, which is great. And the big thing they did, though, is they they found out how to reduce the cost because the cost was one of the big drawbacks of Sock's version. And one of the big parts of the cost, very sadly, is, is they had to import 5000 rhesus monkeys every year in the Netherlands alone, 5000 monkeys in just the Netherlands.

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So in the 70s. These two people name Paul Van Hemmat and Anton Van Vissel. They figured out how to grow cultured monkey kidney cells, which is a great record title, I think.

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Oh, I think so, too. I hadn't thought about that. I don't know the band. The band is the plastic beads.

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And their new album, Cultured Monkey Kidney Cell. So they figured out how to grow these on plastic beads and steel flasks and then grow that polio virus on the kidney cells. So all of a sudden, you didn't need 5000 rhesus monkeys. You just needed a few of them and you didn't have to spend eight, didn't have to call these monkeys, which is awesome. Yeah. And B, you didn't have to import all those monkeys and that expense.

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And that was that saved a ton of money. And they could all of a sudden pump out these IPV IPV shots at a really reduced rate. All right.

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So now all of a sudden, Salk's original or actually new improved version of Salk's original vaccine is competitive to the OPV price. Why is I think it's still way more expensive. But. But much less. Way more expensive than it was before. But then also like it prevents polio myelitis from happening. So what public health officials started to realize they by the way, the U.S. started to switch back to the Salk vaccine, IPV in 2000. Yeah. What what public health officials realized is that this combination of the two could actually wipe polio out of existence.

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For one, you could prevent polio myelitis from ever happening in your population with IPV. But then also, if you could knock out polio in the wild with the OPV and and keep the the population that you're inoculating from developing these vaccine associated viruses. Right.

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The mutated viruses that can come out the other end, you could actually wipe polio out of the wild. As a matter of fact, one type of polio, I believe it was type two, was eradicated. They figured out sometime around 1999 and then I believe in 2015, they officially declared type two polio virus eradicated is gone. That it's just not in the wild anymore because it died out, because it couldn't find a host to transmit and replicate. And we killed it.

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We got rid of it from poop, though. That's right.

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Like, that's. Literally in 1999, the last polio dump happened. Yeah. It just kind of crazy because you do at least in the United States, you associate polio with like the the early 20th century, you know. Yeah.

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So the last polio poof came out, didn't hook up with anyone that didn't have immunity. And the good news about Type two going away was remember how we were talking about the VAP, the the AP situation with the OPV confusing. Yeah. Type two was the part most likely to cause that vaccine infection. That vaccine derived infection. So with that out of the way, you were just left with OPV four types, one and three, which is way more safe and effective.

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Right. And I saw that type three had actually been declared eradicated as well. I think that it's made some sort of weird comeback in Nigeria, but that I believe it was declared eradicated in 2019. I'm not sure if they double back on that or not. But either way, there does seem to be this idea that we could and we're right there on the cusp of being able to eradicate polio. And there's a difference between eradicate and eliminate. Eradicate is whether zero cases to where the only polio that exists is like in a lab or in vaccinated form.

[00:40:02]

Eliminate is where it just doesn't exist on Earth anymore. And for all we know, type two polio virus has been eliminated. But type three, literally one. Right. Has been close to being eradicated, for example, for all types of polio in 1988. Not not very long ago, in 1988, there were 350000 cases worldwide still. So there is still a lot of polio in 2017. It was down to 20 to 22 worldwide. So we're making great headway.

[00:40:36]

But unfortunately, the CIA seems to have really gotten in the way and said polio eradication back by decades, from what I've read. Oh, yeah. Yes. Did you see a Scientific American article?

[00:40:49]

Is that I didn't get to that. Okay. Tell us about it. So when when the the U.S. was hunting for Osama bin Laden, one of the ways that they tried to find him was through a fake vaccination campaign. And it wasn't for polio. It was for hepatitis C. But they basically got a public health official to mount a fake vaccination campaign to gain entry to the bin Laden compound or suspected bin Laden compound and basically take DNA samples of the children there while they were vaccinating them.

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And they they I guess they didn't happen. It didn't it wasn't successful. I don't remember how they found out he was in there or not.

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But the fact that the word got out that this fake vaccination campaign had been used as a ruse by the CIA completely undermined all other vaccination campaigns around the world in places that were already wary of the CIA. Because, remember, polio is endemic in three places, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And none of those three places really have a great impression of the CIA. So legitimate public health vaccination campaigns in those countries were totally delegitimized in the eyes of local population and local governments.

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And in fact, some vaccination workers were murdered and kicked out of countries directly because of that. That ruse that the CIA had undertaken. And from what I read, they say that it said this eradication campaign for polio back literally decades because it is built around public trust that these scientists who are injecting them with stuff, these American scientists are trustworthy and that that trust has been lost, sadly. Well, in that notes that that can have that kind of ripple effects like that.

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And now we're going to have delivered polio at least another 20 years. Probably sad. It is sad. Polio said. Anything else? I got nothing else. Well, that's it for polio, everybody, soon. That's it for polio. And since I said that, it's time for listener mail, I think. Right?

[00:43:07]

Yeah, I'm going to call this.

[00:43:11]

Oh, just correcting us on some stuff about that. OK. Sorry guys. I'm a bit behind. So this is somewhat old news. But since it involves the BISAN teen empire, perhaps old is relative. The stuff he showed up. So how flamethrowers work. Josh says in reference to the Greek fire, something like the BISAN teens who we know as Turks were most notorious for using the stuff. I didn't say that. He said he said it at five thirty one.

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This one's made up as a made up timestamp.

[00:43:48]

The business teens were not Turks in the sense that white Afrikaners in South Africa are not Zulus. Visit teens were Greek speaking colonists from the Roman Empire.

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The capital of the Roman Empire was moved to Byzantium and 338 A.D. by Constantine the Great and the Strategic Port was duly christened and Christianized for a while, at least as Constantinople, not Istanbul. The business teams were much as the Afrikaners were, with the Zulus at odds with the indigenous Turks for most of their history until they were overthrown by the ladder in the mid 15th century. The name Constantinople was changed officially to Istanbul in 1930, but had been in use by the non Greek speaking natives there for centuries, even before the city fell to the Turks in fourteen fifty three.

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Why the heirs of the Roman Empire spoke Greek rather than Latin is similar to why modern South Africans speak English mostly rather than African.

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It's probably a couple of whole shows you could do about the convoluted colonial histories touched on above. And that is from Conrade, their Roubaix. Thanks, Conrad. I appreciate it. I still dispute that I said anything as ridiculous as what you say, I said. But regardless, I'm glad it resulted in that top notch email. If you want to be like Conrad and send us a top notch e-mail, you can do that. Send it off to stuff, podcasts and I heart radio dot com.

[00:45:18]

Stuff you should know is a production of Heart Radios HowStuffWorks. For more podcasts, My Heart Radio is at the heart radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.