The race to find a COVID-19 vaccine recalls the thirty year search for a successful polio vaccine as chronicled in the memoir, Polio and Me.
HEALDSBURG, CA, UNITED STATES, October 7, 2020 /EINPresswire.com/ — Hopefully, the race to find a COVID-19 vaccine will not run into the same barriers as chronicled in the memoir, Polio and Me. that added more than thirty years to the development of the successful polio vaccine.
The road blocks to the polio vaccine began when Dr. Simon Flexner, the head of the Rockefeller Institute, made a fundamental error in his attempt to determine how humans contract polio when he feed his rhesus lab monkeys the polio virus. His mistake? He had selected the wrong species of monkey for his experiment and was unable to infect any of them by introducing the virus through their digestive track. Compounding this failure, Flexner stated to the New York Times, March 9, 1911, edition, “We have already discovered how to prevent infantile paralysis. The achievement of a cure, I may conservatively say, is not now far distant.”
Dr. Flexner’s prediction of a polio vaccine turned out to be more than three decades premature.
Throughout the 1930’s, while the dreaded worldwide polio epidemics grew like wildfire, and using what today we would call kitchen chemistry, there were two failed vaccine attempts. The first in New York, by Dr. Maurice Brody, and the second by Dr. Kollmer, in Philadelphia. Both endeavors caused illness, paralysis, or death from polio.
Finally, based on Flexner’s initial thirty-year-old error that the polio virus did not enter humans through their digestive tract, he determined that the only way the virus could infect humans, was to travel along the olfactory nerve to the brain. To prove this theory, trials were run in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and Toronto, Canada, to block the olfactory nerve's ability to pass the virus into the brains of ten thousand children and adults. They had their nasal passages sprayed with an alum-picric acid, or a zinc sulfate solution. The bottom line? Those trials did not prevent polio and twenty-five percent of the participants lost their sense of smell, some permanently.
Author Ken Dalton has published the non-fiction memoir, Polio and Me, and seven novels. Born in 1938, Ken grew up in Los Angeles, met the girl of his dreams, married, produced three wonderful children, and moved to Sonoma County in 1966.
Polio and Me is available on Kindle, $9.99, and paperback at book stores, and amazon.com, $19.95. For a review copy, please contact, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Source: EIN Presswire