If all human beings disappeared from the Earth, within 50 years all forms of life would flourish.”
— Biologist Jonas Salk, inventor of the Salk Polio Vaccine
My mother had polio has a child. She was one of the lucky ones who didn’t end up in an “iron lung” that breathed for you. When the Salk polio vaccine was made available she made sure my brother and I were first in line to receive the vaccine. We had the Sabin live virus* vaccine too and every booster shot that was available.
I’ve always harbored a secret suspicion that Fibromyalgia and other “unexplainable” conditions might be virus related. In an internet search I found Dr Salk’s biography and stumbled on the above quote.
Human beings in all their nearsightedness and ego driven behavior, may not be as hardy, as industrious, ubiquitous nor tenacious as insects. However, humans have an intellect capable of contemplating what would happen if all the insects disappeared and what would be the consequences if all human beings disappeared. I’ve never known an insect contemplate anything close to that.Side note: *Salk’s vaccine was composed of “killed” polio virus, which retained the ability to immunize without running the risk of infecting the patient. There was some evidence that the “killed” vaccine failed to completely immunize the patient. A few years later, the Sabine vaccine made from live polio virus was developed, which could be administered orally, while Salk’s vaccine required injection. In the U.S., public health authorities elected to distribute the “live” oral vaccine instead of Salk’s. Tragically, the preparation of live virus infected some patients with the disease, rather than immunizing them. Since the introduction of the original vaccine, the few new cases of polio reported in the United States were probably caused by the “live” vaccine which was intended to prevent them.
Current infected countries
Polio remains endemic in three countries – Afghanistan, Nigeria, India and Pakistan – and has re-established transmission in three countries which were previously polio-free (Angola, Chad and Democratic Republic of the Congo). Several more countries had ongoing outbreaks in 2011 due to importations of poliovirus.”