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How plumbing (not vaccines) eradicated disease

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  • How plumbing (not vaccines) eradicated disease

    How plumbing (not vaccines) eradicated disease

    This is a good article though limited in scope. It's also funny how a person forgets things like this as I've read articles and have seen several TV specials about how plumbing eradicated diseases in the US but hadn't thought about it in relation to the current vaccination debate.

  • #2
    Odd, I can distinctly remember indoor plumbing during the polio epidemic. And I remember lots of deaths from things like measles.



    I'm pretty sure most people had indoor plumbing before 1965.

    And smallpox disappeared from the Earth, even though many people in other countries didn't have indoor plumbing. What we did have was an effective vaccine. So there's that, too.

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    • #3
      Clean water and closed sewers did help eliminate diseases associated with water and vermin. But they didn't help much with diseases transmitted through the air or by physical contact. There is no one-size-fits-all solution, and diseases will evolve to compensate for our attempts at eliminating them.

      Environmental and personal cleanliness has helped a lot, but so have vaccines. And we will have to stay vigilant and innovative if we want to keep ahead of the possible epidemic. One of the problems with success is that people no longer fear what is no longer plaguing them. They get arrogant, and lazy, and soon even avoidable diseases return.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by The Barbarian View Post
        Odd, I can distinctly remember indoor plumbing during the polio epidemic. And I remember lots of deaths from things like measles.

        I'm pretty sure most people had indoor plumbing before 1965.

        And smallpox disappeared from the Earth, even though many people in other countries didn't have indoor plumbing. What we did have was an effective vaccine. So there's that, too.
        Excellent point Barbarian. You're entirely right I think. I guess things work together; plumbing, better food, refrigeration, vaccination, etc. Even adding certain chemicals and processing foods in various ways is probably good in some cases but, obviously, adding so much absolute poison to food and to our bodies through vaccinations should be done with extreme caution. I'm no scientist but giving children 8 shots in their first few days of life and something like 50 (sorry, don't remember the exact number) before age 6 seems massively excessive.

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        • #5
          Caution is indeed indicated. And yes, you're right about things like dysentary, cholera, typhoid, and the like. Infections of the digestive system have dropped markedly, due to sanitation. There's the classic case in London:

          1854: Physician John Snow convinces a London local council to remove the handle from a pump in Soho. A deadly cholera epidemic in the neighborhood comes to an end immediately, though perhaps serendipitously. Snow maps the outbreak to prove his point … and launches modern epidemiology.
          http://www.wired.com/2009/09/0908london-cholera-pump/

          Ironically, the polio outbreak of the 50s was a consequence of better sanitation:

          It's a paradox of public health that being too clean can sometimes lead to disease. For centuries, infants were routinely exposed to the poliovirus in their unsanitary living conditions. Polio rarely causes paralysis in infants, partly because of the maternal antibodies still present in their systems. In the 1900s, many countries cleaned up their water and sanitation systems, and houses in more affluent communities were routinely cleaned, reducing exposure to microbes. By the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, new mothers, especially those in the middle class, had no antibodies in their immune systems to pass on to their children. When children were exposed to the poliovirus in later years, they were defenseless against the disease.
          http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/rxforsurviva...ses/polio.html

          Doesn't mean we should go back to being casual about sewage; far more people died of typhoid or cholera than ever died of polio.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by The Barbarian View Post
            Odd, I can distinctly remember indoor plumbing during the polio epidemic.
            From 8 Things You May Not Know About Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine:
            1. Although polio was the most feared disease of the 20th century, it was hardly the deadliest.
            “Polio was never the raging epidemic portrayed in the media, not even at its height in the 1940s and 1950s,” writes David M. Oshinsky in his Pulitzer Prize winning book “Polio: An American Story.” During those decades, 10 times as many children died in accidents and three times as many succumbed to cancer. Oshinsky notes that polio inspired such fear because it struck without warning and researchers were unsure of how it spread from person to person. In the years following World War II, polls found the only thing Americans feared more than polio was nuclear war.

            Regardless of that, both wild-type and vaccine-strain (live virus) polio is spread in sewage.

            Originally posted by The Barbarian View Post
            And I remember lots of deaths from things like measles.
            There were few deaths relative to the number of measles infections. It was thought of as a harmless infection, and, like with mumps, mothers would intentionally bring their children to parties in order to acquire an infection. In other words the high measles rates were driven by intentional infections that could have been prevented by God's method of quarantine. That was the practice throughout most of the twentieth century until vaccination with an attenuated live measles virus (a.k.a. measles party in a bottle).
            Last edited by elohiym; April 11th, 2015, 03:05 PM.
            "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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            • #7
              Originally posted by One Ugly Christian View Post
              Excellent point Barbarian. You're entirely right I think. I guess things work together; plumbing, better food, refrigeration, vaccination, etc. Even adding certain chemicals and processing foods in various ways is probably good in some cases but, obviously, adding so much absolute poison to food and to our bodies through vaccinations should be done with extreme caution. I'm no scientist but giving children 8 shots in their first few days of life and something like 50 (sorry, don't remember the exact number) before age 6 seems massively excessive.
              Vaccines are a drop in the bucket compared to all the natural pathogen exposure:

              Life Provides Far More Microorganism Exposure Than Vaccines

              We have, on and in us, about 100 billion bacteria, which is 10 to 100 times more bacteria than there are cells that make us. That is just our normal flora. These represent about 1,000 separate species of bacteria. Humans are born bacteria-free and acquire a complex and enormous normal bacterial flora in months. In the first year of life, babies ares exposed, for the first time, to all the bacteria of their parents and siblings and some from the family pet and the environment. The resultant antigen exposure is thousands of times greater than the exposure from the vaccine schedule.

              The number of bacteria in your own ecosystem, of course, pales into insignificance compared to the bacteria in the soil, at about a million species per gram of soil, plus those in the water, on pets, in the air, etc., etc. Estimates run as high as a billion different bacterial species in the world. Viruses, yeasts, molds, parasites, and mites may provide millions more. These microorganisms are kept at bay by the immune system. Each species of bacteria has multiple sites that can elicit an antibody response. It is not simply one antibody for each organism. How many develop against a microorganism depends on the complexity of the organism. It is not unusual to make dozens of antibodies against one bacterial strain. If we respond with only 3 antibodies to each bacterial species in our normal flora and 3 antibodies each to only 100,000 of the 10+ billion environmental organisms. that would be 300,000 antibodies. Making that many antibodies by age 18 would average 46 per day. The standard childhood vaccine schedule provokes a total of about 150 [7]. The leading infectious disease textbook identifies roughly 1,300 bacteria that can cause disease. This translates into more than 13,000 potential antigens, nearly 100 times as many as the recommended vaccine schedule.
              http://www.quackwatch.com/03HealthPr.../too_many.html
              The universe itself is more impressive and majestic than any god could ever hope to be. The mind of man is an amazing byproduct of an amazing universe. We should relish that thought, marvel at it, and continue to unravel the mystery of not what is "behind" the universe, but what the universe is.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by One Ugly Christian View Post
                I'm no scientist but giving children 8 shots in their first few days of life and something like 50 (sorry, don't remember the exact number) before age 6 seems massively excessive.
                It's also unnecessary.
                "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Tinark View Post
                  Vaccines are a drop in the bucket compared to all the natural pathogen exposure:
                  What does that have to do with being injected with multiple live viruses simultaneously or a preservative, adjuvant or contaminant in some other vaccine?
                  "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by elohiym View Post
                    There were few deaths relative to the number of measles infections.
                    Is getting the measles vaccine worse than getting measles?

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                    • #11
                      Something like one child in a thousand who was diagnosed with measles, died. Of all the millions of kids vaccinated, about 330 died from complications of the vaccine, usually in an immune-compromised patient.

                      So easily 1000 times more dangerous to go unvaccinated, even considering that many cases of mild measles might not be reported. There's another issue:

                      About one in 10,000 diagnosed cases will develop subacute sclerosing panencephalitis, which is devastating, leading to difficulty in coordination, mental retardation, and often, death.

                      It's very likely possible for this to happen with vaccinated kids as well. A study, seeking all such cases, identified, out of all the children vaccinated between 1970 and 1993 found 48 children with those symptoms.
                      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9481001

                      Again, the odds are better, with the vaccine.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by The Barbarian View Post
                        Something like one child in a thousand who was diagnosed with measles, died. Of all the millions of kids vaccinated, about 330 died from complications of the vaccine, usually in an immune-compromised patient.

                        So easily 1000 times more dangerous to go unvaccinated, even considering that many cases of mild measles might not be reported.
                        Interesting.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by User Name View Post
                          Is getting the measles vaccine worse than getting measles?
                          When you get the measles vaccine you are getting the measles. It's just weakened by attenuation but it's the same virus.
                          "It is easier to contend with evil at the first than at the last." - Leonardo da Vinci

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by elohiym View Post
                            When you get the measles vaccine you are getting the measles. It's just weakened by attenuation but it's the same virus.
                            So then, is it better to get a vaccine than it is to get a full-blown disease?

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                            • #15
                              When you get the measles vaccine you are getting the measles. It's just weakened by attenuation but it's the same virus.
                              This is correct. That is why it provides such good immunity. On the down side, if there's something wrong with your immune system, it can be as bad as a real case of measles.

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