Did We Get The Germ Theory Completely Wrong? Becoming too clean for our own good…
This article is based upon the last chapter of a newly released book (find out more and read the rest for free here) and hence the reference numbers after each quote relate to this much more extensive published research. All references with their clickable links are to be found at the end of this article. Enjoy!
Let’s begin where the book leaves off:
Letter to the ‘TIMES’ 1854
‘ We prefer to take our chance with cholera than be bullied into health. There is nothing a man hates so much as being cleansed against his will or having his floor swept, his hall whitewashed, his dung heaps cleared away and his thatch forced to give way to slate. It is a fact that many people have died from a good washing.’
Child, J and Shuter, P. (1992, 101)
As you read the quote above, you might see that although it is specific to Cholera that is near-universally applicable to all the once deadlier contagions discussed throughout this book. For example, just replace the word Cholera with your disease of choice and think of our interventions via vaccination as a more modern form of hygiene.
Hygiene, whether cleaning up old sewers to remove the threat of pathogen causing agents, or producing drugs to kill the bugs (antibiotics) and public health measures such as mass vaccination of entire populations to as a pest control and ultimately to eradicate the bug, is fundamentally underpinned by one theory and that is often called the germ theory and credited to Louis Pasteur (1822-95).
The French chemist Louis Pasteur developed germ theory, which became central to our understanding of disease… by chance he discovered that germs which had been weakened by long exposure to the air caused immunity to cholera in chickens.
Science Museum (n.d.)
Is this not what we ourselves have attempted to do by trying to mimic nature’s natural attenuation process? The only problem is that we totally appear to have misunderstood one fundamental point about the germ as you will see as we continue this discussion – i.e., the importance of exposure versus shielding ourselves from the bugs and this might begin to explain why our medical interventions failed so miserably as a result.
You see, as this present study has shown clearly throughout, weather a pathogen or germ is benign or deadly depends upon the degree of familiarity as us as their hosts with them. I.e., these same germs become increasingly more attenuated (weakened) depending upon our individual, population and generational exposure to them. And what about viruses such as those from the Herpes Family (namely Chickenpox) that may have played a hugely important roll in helping to keep more sinister bacterial types (Such as the Plague of old with the same genes whether it infected an individual back in the Middle Ages or within the 21st Century, the outcomes were very different) at bay?
These germs or pathogens (microbes) might, therefore, be better referred to as: ‘Conditional Pathogens’ as proposed in the following excerpted article.
REFLECTIONS ON THE VIRULENCE OF INFECTIONS
Among the plethora of micro-organisms cohabiting with us, a few are pathogenic. And many of these are conditional pathogens, behaving as harmless companions most of the time but exerting a disease profile… owing to other factors.
Several epidemic and endemic diseases are caused by conditional pathogens.
Paradoxically, some infectious diseases have increased in incidence as the prevalence of the pathogen diminishes. Once common infections of infancy have become rarer, and the age of first infection is therefore delayed.
The mid-20th-century epidemic of poliomyelitis is an example. When almost all of us acquired poliovirus infection early in infancy when maternal antibodies were present, the virus seldom spread from its natural home in the gut to damage the central nervous system. But, clean, middle-class children acquiring delayed infection… were more susceptible to paralysis…
Weiss, R. A., (2015, 514: What is a Pathogen)
This understanding of pathogens as conditional, as they could also be relatively tame and harmless in another context or set of conditions – is fully supported by this view of how germs/pathogens behave and their relative impact upon our respective populations through the course of time as discussed throughout this study. Essentially, we need them and they need us and nature does the rest if we don’t interfere.
Certainly, the above excerpt dovetails well with our discussion on the Polioviruses that most of our populations lived alongside without any particular issues until we changed our relationship to them by inadvertently creating conditions that led to less exposure and familiarity that resulted in these viruses getting out of hand – at least temporarily until almost everyone was naturally immunized again.
Similarly, according to historical accounts and some fairly recent molecular insights, our immune systems appear to be able to attenuate the bugs down through the generations via exposure and the more exposed we were; the more familiar we became to the pathogens and the better prepared against future attacks – even far down into the future.
It depends upon the context/conditions that the bugs find themselves in and the relationship between the bug and us as their human hosts – i.e., the virulence is depended upon the conditions that the pathogens find themselves in.
REFLECTIONS ON THE VIRULENCE OF INFECTIONS
Virulence is neither positively nor negatively related with the efficiency of epidemic spread. There is a tendency for initially highly virulent infections to become attenuated over time,
Weiss, R. A., (2015, 520: The Concept of Virulence)
This study established that the Great Plague and indeed, all the lesser ones after it, declined by fully natural means due to our shifting relationship to the pathogens ‘germs’ as their hosts. And the relationship got a whole lot better over the generations to the point where they didn’t bother us that much any more. This is fully supported by the mortality statistics, graphs and archival material along with some modern molecular insights.
In other words, bugs will most likely behave themselves if we are familiar with them; whereas, if we are not familiar with them, are not exposed in the right way, at the right time and to the correct degree to them – say, somehow our exposure is somehow delayed, (as was the classic case in point regarding Polio as noted above), then, these might start to behave a bit more like our traditional pathogens that we would tend to want to annihilate if we could.
All in all, this present study found that in one era, certain pathogens caused massive death and destruction, whilst in another these same pathogens became common and mostly benign infections of childhood.
Bugs, germs, pathogens or microbes are simply opportunists and will colonise anything given half a chance and if we inadvertently create the conditions to help them thrive, they will certainly take it. And we certainly gave them many opportunities to do just that (unbeknownst to ourselves) as we strove to develop into full modernity (we could say: becoming more affluent societies) with hardly a corner of earth left unturned.
… PROPHYLAXIS AND THERAPY OF INFECTIOUS DISEASES
The late Dr. Alexis Carrel has said:
“Microbes and viruses are to be found everywhere, in the air, in the water, in our food… Nevertheless, in many people they remain inoffensive… This is natural immunity…”
We should ascertain whether natural resistance to infections could be conferred on man by definite conditions of life. Good health should be natural.”
McCormick, W. J., (1951, 1)
The overall take-home point from this entire study is as we become familiar and therefore immunized overtime against the worst effects of such pathogens, that it is this exposure and subsequent infections (silent, benign or otherwise, not eradication or shielding from the pathogens) that leads increasingly, to a more educated immune system and ultimate protection.
Previously Unrecognised Benefits of Having Natural Infections
A great English physician, Dr. Leonard Williams, has said:
“…By our habit of riveting our attention on microbes and their toxins we have sadly neglected the side of the question which concerns itself with our own bodily defenses.”
McCormick, W. J., (1951, 1)
While we have been hyperfocused on the eradication of the bugs, we neglected to look at some of the other possible related benefits to having them hang around (obviously, this becomes more preferrable in their highly attenuated form as more benign bugs).
For instance, who would have thought that having a fever from exposure to all kinds of pathogens (germs) whilst growing up would turn out to be rather critical to keeping our immune systems in tip-top form and ready for just about anything that we might encounter throughout our lives?
It would appear that the key to good health is quite natural or, at least it could be, and it seems to have a lot to do with educating your immune response – not just so that your own immune system via exposure learns to disarm the conditional pathogen so you don’t suffer its ill effects too much (unlike back in the day when your ancestors were doing the really major battling of the bugs with their own immune systems), but actually training through direct experience (not being shielded from the bugs) so that your immune system expresses an appropriate inflammatory response or, educated response as indicated in the following excerpted study.
An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases
Scientists observed a major difference in the innate immune system of … farming children. A protein …which helps recognize endotoxin, appeared at double concentrations in farmers’ blood. And a microbial sensor… was three times more abundant.
The same way a musician’s brain can distinguish between notes and tempos inaudible to a nonmusician, the farming immune system appeared to have a heighte[ne]d ability to sense the microbial world. Paradoxically, this enhanced microbe-sensing machinery didn’t intensify the inflammatory response. Quite the opposite, in fact.
When Braun-Fahrländer mixed endotoxin directly with immune cells extracted from farmers’ children, and compared the response with that of nonfarming children from the same area, she found that farmers’ immune cells responded less vigorously. They tolerated what provoked their nonfarming neighbors.
The constant contact with microbes had, it seemed, taught them a certain immune serenity. And that translated to less allergic disease…
Velasquez-Manoff, M., (2012, 106)
This certainly puts the opening quote of this conclusion into perspective – It looks like we need the germs we have been trying to scrub out of existence in order to educate our immune systems that when activated, or challenged, they have already had the training to not overreact via inflammatory responses.
As it turns out, there is a new epidemic disease that we are dealing with and it is turning out to be more debilitating and sometimes deadly making the essentially fairly resolved infectious diseases pale near insignificance – that is chronic diseases (or, autoimmune diseases – the inappropriate response of our immune systems that end up turning on themselves).
Now, to be fair, a major player in this is for sure our overuse of antibiotics (another effort to kill the bugs – which was very welcomed of course as an intervention – but, we are talking about our inappropriate use of these drugs), which apparently, according to an ever-increasing body of science are also wreaking havoc with our immune systems as most of the good bacteria get killed off whilst trying to Naypalm the bad guys and it turns out that these good (gut bacteria for the most part) are your immune regulators.
Due to seemingly, becoming too hygienic our immune systems appear to spend more time attacking itself and overreacting to previously harmless dust mites, peanuts, proteins and all sorts of strange environmental particles that, interestingly, never bothered our ancestors that much in the past. Have we gotten too obsessed with the germ? Some would say, yes – most definitely!
Playing in the Dirt As Kids Makes Later Life Chronic Disease Less Likely
Inflammation has been identified as a frequent indicator of trouble at our body’s cellular level. More and more studies like McDade and Kuzawa’s link inflammation in our bodies to increased risk for a whole host of diseases, from asthma to dementia. But exposure to germs, especially in early life, educates our immune system and helps it regulate inflammation more effectively.
…“The developing immune system is similar to the brain,” McDade says. “No one questions that a baby needs exposure to language to drive the neurological processes that underlie the development of speech. The immune system is similar; its development is driven by exposures from the environment. In this case, the key exposures are microbial. Without those exposures, it doesn’t work quite right.”
McDade says poorly educated immune systems, and poor regulation of inflammation, partially explain the rising rates of celiac disease and allergies, as well as chronic diseases — or, as McDade calls them, “diseases of affluence” — that we see in the U.S., where germs are religiously scrubbed away at home and at work. Those trends don’t show up elsewhere, in places like the Philippines, where children are exposed to more dirt and bacteria from birth.
Neuroscience News. (8th July 2017)
In other words, we need to train our immune systems from the earliest stages of life – appropriately, and as we currently live in fairly sanitised conditions in our efforts to shield ourselves from any exposure to bugs, (sometimes referred to as the Hygiene Hypothesis), we are less exposed to essential immune system regulators and this certainly seems to be a major contributor to chronic, inflammatory (autoimmune) or allergic diseases that have become near-pandemic across our industrialised nations.
As indicated above, it’s all about the fever itself and going through the real process (nothing like having one of the big ones early on for your best training) is looking like it could make us more resilient to developing life-threatening cancer too.
Bouts of fever may make us more resilient to cancer
Infectious fever makes our bodies more resilient to cancer by increasing and strengthening a particular group of cells in the immune system.
… For decades, studies have suggested that there is a link between history of infectious fever and lower risk of cancer — but as yet, there is no direct proof of cause.
However, in a paper now published in the journal The Quarterly Review of Biology, scientists from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland argue that there is a strong case for their hypothesis.
They are not the first to propose that the immune system increases resilience to cancer each time that the body fights an infectious fever.
“Several hypotheses have been presented thus far,” they write, “and recent debates have pointed to the effect of fever on innate and adaptive immune functions.”…
An infectious fever is a “defensive and adaptive reaction” by the immune system, which is triggered when the immune system encounters a particular molecular pattern, such as that of a virus or bacterium. Recognition of the molecular pattern engages the body’s “febrile system,” which comprises several mechanisms… The cells have unique features — including an “older evolutionary memory” — that enable them to carry out surveillance and attack cancer cells… Given this, and the other evidence that they reviewed, the authors conclude that:
“The unique physiology of [gamma-delta] T lymphocytes […] makes them a target for exploration in the context of fever and cancer risk, and for future cancer immunotherapy.”
Paddock, C., (2018, 21st August, Medical News Today)
This is certainly a hitherto unknown dimension of the immune system – who would ever have thought how important having a fever was, not only for helping you fight and clear the pathogen but that this activation may exercise your immune cells to potentially help to tackle tumours as well and train you to have a more appropriate inflammatory response helping to keep many forms of chronic (inflammatory/autoimmune) diseases at bay too?
Most common childhood cancer ‘partly caused by lack of infection’
…Greaves – who recently won the Royal Society’s prestigious Royal Medal – says the cancer is caused by a combination of genetic mutations and a lack of childhood infection.
The best news, says Greaves, is that the cancer is likely to be preventable. And part of the answer could be to ensure children under the age of one have social contact with others, possibly at daycare centres.
… One in 20 children, he says, are born with a genetic mutation that puts them potentially at risk. But they will be fine if their immune system is properly set up. For that to happen, they must encounter benign bacteria or viruses in their first year of life.
Those whose immune systems are not fully functioning because they have not had an early challenge to deal with – and who then later encounter an infection such as a cold or flu – may develop a second genetic mutation that will make them susceptible to the cancer.
… Unlike most diseases, it is increasing in more affluent populations. Something about our modern lifestyles has to be involved, Greaves reasoned… “The problem is not infection. The problem is lack of infection.”
Boseley, S., (2018, 21st May,The Guardian)
Of course, we are not saying bring back all those childhood infectious diseases that we have developed vaccines to prevent and ultimately try and eradicate (Afterall, we believe we eradicated major killers of the past in this manner), so when we review such studies highlighting the potential health benefits of having infections particularly when young, refers to these as benign infections.
However, by now you may be thinking to yourself, well, hasn’t this entire present study just explained how these conditional pathogens (germs) have for the most part become just that – benign? You should try and see it from our health professional’s perspective for now as they are not in full possession of all the historical facts like you and me as yet.
The point being: our immune systems and their education whilst growing up doesn’t make the distinction between Scarlet Fever that has no mass vaccination bug control policy and something like Mumps or Measles that does. To nature, the issues are: do you have good bacterial immune regulators and how well tuned is your inflammatory response so that you can respond appropriately when challenged – particularly if you already have a genetic predisposition that otherwise would not manifest itself (even delayed after the trigger or accumulation of environmental triggers – a bit like the straw that broke the Camel’s back) under natural inflammatory and educated responses.
Certainly, and to be fair, this type of discovery and insights into the highly and finely tuned immune response being set up early in life or, primed appropriately (and from within the womb as well, if not before conception) are fairly new and have not been fully embraced by the wider scientific community as yet and certainly, our public health officials are still so terrified of all these old plagues returning – lest we keep vaccinating en-mass, that it would be difficult for them to re-evaluate all of this newer science in an objective way.
How were we to know all this? However, it does strongly suggest that we may have fundamentally misjudged the power of Nature to keep us in good health without too much of our interference in our enthusiasm to save all of humanity against the dreadful bugs. Perhaps now you can see that the bug, or germ (pathogen) or microbe is not always something to be eradicated as the germ theory supports.
Having now reviewed all of the above, it is just possible that we have become so hygienic (the Hygiene Hypothesis) that just when we should have been free of almost all the infectious diseases that once plagued us with relatively devastating consequences. due to natural causes as argued throughout this study, we should have been looking at significant levels of health and prosperity and instead, we are seeing an epidemic within and across all industrialised nations of inflammatory diseases, immune dysfunction and chronic disease, not to mention our increasing chances of triggering some cancers.
Keep Your Old Microbial Friends Close and Your Old Microbial Enemies Closer Still
Cleaning up the hygiene hypothesis
The hypothesis suggests that early and regular exposure to harmless microorganisms—“old friends” present throughout human evolution and recognized by the human immune system—train the immune system to react appropriately to threats…
“By not being exposed to immune regulatory forces in childhood, then you’re more apt to develop an inflammatory process later in life,” says gastroenterologist Eran Israeli of Hebrew University…
Scudellari, M., (2017)
The ‘Hygiene Hypothesis’, according to other parts of this article, should be dropped and instead, the ‘Old Friends Hypothesis’ is proposed as more applicable. Essentially the ‘Old Friend Hypothesis’ rejects within it, pathogens, for example, Measles as such childhood infections are no longer in our modern developed world viewed as relatively benign as they once were by parent’s rearing children in the era prior to our mass vaccination efforts against the disease.
In this scenario, the Old Friend’s Hypothesis instead sees the main vaccine-preventable diseases once common in childhood – very much as current enemies and rather formidable at that. This is understandable if you believe that we never defeated the more deadly bugs by learning to live with them by becoming naturally immunized over the generations of exposure.
However, in conclusion of all the major findings in this present study, I would, therefore, like to take the liberty of expanding upon what has come to be known as the ‘Old Friends Hypothesis’ and instead, as perhaps the demarcation between microbes that are at times pathogens and at others relatively benign depending upon when in history and within what population we are considering, the ‘germ’ is not always the bringer of disease and wanton destruction – we could argue that in many ways we really have become far too sanitised and there is certainly something to be said for keeping your Old Microbial Friends Close and Your Old Microbial Enemies Closer Still. This addition to the Old Friends hypotheses doesn’t make the demarcation between the microbes as this present study has established that they are all important where exposure rather than shielding ourselves from them is the key to robust resistance, if not full generational immunity to dying and debilitating chronic diseases.
Perhaps if we had have gone down the natural path and understood that it wasn’t the bugs per se that were the issue, but our relationship to them that made the difference between them becoming relatively benign microbes, even relatively symbiotic to us – recall the role of the Herpes Family keeping the old Plague at bay, we could call semi-friendly or a foe of old that became tolerable, they are all seemingly required in the longer run this might have been the better option – ensuring a much more robust protection in the end.
The Medical Heresy?
This present study with its main focus on Ireland and, as it relates to many other regions of similar modernity, historically testifies to the fact that there was a rather dramatic decline in mortality from a broad range of infectious diseases at a population level in the absence, entirely, of our medical interventions (antibiotics and mass vaccination in particular).
This pattern of declining deaths prior to and, although, a marginal contribution is acknowledged regarding our medical or therapeutic interventions in these same diseases (if there was any specific intervention at all), their impact upon the overall death rate, as reviewed by McKinlay and McKinlay (1977) in the context of the United States in, ‘The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century’  is, as the title suggests, questionable!
This, of course, raises the possibility that we might have faired out in the end even if we hadn’t have intervened at all. And, of course, this is heresy indeed as acknowledged by these same scholars as excerpted in the following.
The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century
The modern “heresy” that medical care (as it is traditionally conceived) is generally unrelated to improvements in the health of populations (as distinct from individuals) is still dismissed as unthinkable in much the same way as the so-called heresies of former times. And this is despite a long history of support in popular and scientific writings as well as from able minds in a variety of disciplines…
It is not uncommon today for biotechnological knowledge and specific medical interventions to be invoked [as] the major reason for most of the modern (twentieth century) decline in mortality.’ Responsibility for this decline is often claimed by, or ascribed to, the present-day major beneficiaries of this prevailing explanation.
McKinlay, J.B., & McKinlay, S. M., (1977, 406)
By now I hope you see that, whether you view this as a great heresy or not (it is difficult to wrap your head around this possibility that we may not have saved humanity by the millions due to our interventions – medical or otherwise), that this heresy is based upon the actual historical evidence rather than our ever hopeful perception that we can eventually win over Nature and reinforce our optimism that we have very good successes in the past – so why not keep going?
The problem, of course, is that if we have taken credit where credit is not due and instead Nature should be applauded, where does that leave our current public health efforts to keep trying to eradicate, if not at least control the spread of older contagions that we seem to require exposure to in order to keep topping up our generational resilience?
Well, let us hope that the fact that our mass-multi-vaccinations seem to wane in their population protection over time, that we will become fully topped up and ready to meet any new challenge in the not too distant future.
Now McKinlay & McKinlay are not the only public health heretics as, Thomas Mc Keown’s seminal 1979 study entitled: ‘The Role of Medicine: Dream, Mirage, or Nemesis?’  clearly illustrates. This is still the most widely acknowledged authority on the matter. Some years earlier, Thomas McKeown and his co-author (1962) sum up their findings quite succinctly in the following:
Reasons for the Decline of Mortality in England and Wales during the Nineteenth Century
… Neither therapy nor sanitary reform made any significant contribution, and it is suggested that the marked and sustained rise in population before 1850 cannot plausibly be attributed solely to a fortuitous shift in the relationship between infectious organisms and the human host.
We conclude that, whether more importance is attached to the birth rate or the death rate, the most significant influence until 1850 (indeed until 1870) was a rising standard of living.
McKeown, T., & R. G. Record (1962, Abstract)
Now, although this present study concurs strongly with the previous statistical and historical assessments carried out for the United States, England and Wales and indeed, by broadening the geographical investigation to include Ireland, Scotland and many other regions across Europe to Continents beyond, and updating the mortality data to our more current era, this present study certainly reinforces the overall conclusion that our medical interventions or, hygienic efforts had a marginal impact, if any, upon our respective population’s seeming resilience to dying from once deadlier contagions.
However, regarding what these authors offer as an alternative possibility for the main cause of this great decline being predominantly the rising standard of living, this is where this present study would tend to part company with the conclusions reached by McKeown & Record (ibid) as summarised above.
Instead, the conclusions reached over the course of this present study dovetail much closer with McNeill’s (1976) thesis on the matter of the cause of the great decline in deaths from particularly nasty contagions of the distant past that it would appear that as our ancestors become immunized via exposure to all sorts of bugs – familiarising themselves to their worst effects via a natural immunization effect over the generations (or, what we could call a type of attenuation of the bugs over time as they become weaker each time they are filtered through individuals, whole populations and even generations in the end) and those who survived in greater numbers thereafter, became so robustly resilient to dying from these once deadlier contagions these great pestilences of the past appear to fade into the dusty pages of history .
In other words, it looks like our ancestors had already done the lion’s share of work in attenuating these pathogens on our behalf (weakening them) for us, and we don’t have to suffer anywhere near as much these days because of this natural immunizing effect.
Now, it is possible that these pathogens (being conditional) never actually went anywhere. We may already have generational resistance as our immune systems have learned to deal with the bugs and this begins to explain why for the most part a pathogen still has essentially the same genetics as it had when it wiped out millions, yet, stopped being a major killer in the more modern era as was the case in a number of pathogenic genomes explored in this way.
This is fully supported by more recent scientific and molecular insights, as of late, and quite reassuringly, by the fact that even if these once deadlier contagions returned in the original colours (escaping from a vaccine lab perhaps?) apparently due to the fact that our immune systems have really long memories, we may actually survive such an event. Indeed, we may not even notice such an attack in the form of an old foe.
Unfortunately, I cannot be so sure about a genetically modified Frankenstein killer virus types that are sometimes manufactured for biochemical warfare offence/defence. Who knows though, we might be a bit familiar to parts of these older type plagues depending upon how much of the sequence has circulated in the past.
However, leaving all that aside and returning to the this fundamental pattern of the rise, peaking and ultimate decline of once deadlier and debilitating contagions and our generational becoming almost universal; then, as indicated previously, this robust resilience to dying from once deadlier plague-like contagions and other diseases should apply to the entire world given enough time.
Let us hope that we don’t get hit with the more modern epidemic of Chronic Disease due to having such dysregulated immune systems and uneducated inflammatory responses before we achieve this worldwide immunity.
Before finishing this discussion, we will just review the thought-provoking concept by McKinlay and McKinlay’s study (1977), which, I believe just about sums up the situation regarding our current and ever-increasing public health policies and their longterm implications – globally – if we continue to follow the wrong concept underpinning our modern medicine as it relates to infectious disease.
The Questionable Contribution of Medical Measures to the Decline of Mortality in the United States in the Twentieth Century
If one subscribes to the view that we are slowly but surely eliminating one disease after another because of medical interventions, then there may be little commitment to social change and even resistance to some reordering of priorities in medical expenditures.
If a disease X is disappearing primarily because of the presence of a particular intervention or service Y, then clearly Y should be left intact, or, more preferably, be expanded. Its demonstrable contribution justifies its presence. But, if it can be shown convincingly, and on commonly accepted grounds, that the major part of the decline in mortality is unrelated to medical care activities, then some commitment to social change… and a reordering of priorities may ensue.
For, if the disappearance of X is largely unrelated to the presence of Y, or even occurs in the absence of Y, then clearly the expansion and even the continuance of Y can be reasonably questioned. Its demonstrable ineffectiveness justifies some reappraisal of its significance and the wisdom of expanding it in its existing form.
In this paper we have attempted to dispel the myth that medical measures and the presence of medical services were primarily responsible for the modern decline in mortality. The question now remains: if they were not primarily responsible for it, then how is it to be explained?
McKinlay, J. B., & McKinlay, S. M., (1977, 425-426)
It is hoped that this present study reveals a fairly plausible cause for this most welcomed resolution of once deadlier contagions. And, as this study has uncovered the fact that it is highly likely that X (fill in the name of the infectious disease) stopped killing and maiming people for the most part (at a population level) in the absence of Y (fill in the intervention such as antibiotics and/or mass vaccination/immunization public health policies), does it, therefore, strongly support the fact that we should perhaps re-evaluate and try to dispel the myth via historical review and education that medical measures were never actually necessary in the first place to achieve the noble goal of eradication of killer infectious diseases?
Now, and at the same time, this seriously questions the continuation and certainly, the further expansion (near-universally at this stage) of such medical interventions on an ever-increasing scale of coercion and compulsion in order to participate and move freely within our highly technological nations (‘Y’ substituted for mass immunization perhaps)?
Moreover, can we not make a very strong case for showing that if we substitute the ‘Y’ = mass vaccination/immunization for mass/generational natural immunization that we could strongly suggest that ‘Y’ did bring about ‘X’ the decline and ultimate resolution of all the infectious diseases (that used to be a whole lot more lethal) and perhaps, we should have continued rely upon this means of protection and maybe even have encouraged (expanded upon the process) supported by clinically established means without retarding it with our less than natural medical interventions in the first place?
It is hoped that this present study has adequately presented a case for the fact that Mother Nature does mass immunization a whole lot better than we ever could. And, just to end on the final metaphor that I believe sums it all up as written by R. Dubos (1959, 23) in, Mirage of Health, as aptly quoted in McKinlay and McKinlay (1977, 405: Introduction).
Dubos (Mirage of Health 1959)
“When the tide is receding from the beach it is easy to have the illusion
that one can empty the ocean by removing water with a pail.”
Quoted in, McKinlay, J. B., & McKinlay, S. M.
Ways Forward From Here
So, in the meantime, if the supplies of vaccines all suddenly dried up, sending us all into a wild panic, or you find yourself caught up in some vaccine-preventable outbreaks – I have drawn on historical clinical studies that have been essentially forgotten in our frenzy to eradicate all bugs and would also be useful given our current crisis concerning the rise of Superbugs due to the overuse of antibiotics, or, if you are in a position to allow your children all the future benefits of natural exposure to real infections, but would like to feel more secure in the knowledge of clinically established protocols – then, the epilogue should help guide you in your endeavour.
You see, these interventions for if the going gets very rough, are finding current validation in our modern world of medicine through sheer necessity and they don’t involve annihilating the good bugs in the process, nor do they attempt to eradicate the bugs from circulating either.
In other words, it is the approach taken in a world before the wider use of a range of vaccines and before mass availability of antibiotics – these interventions worked on all sorts of bugs by supercharging the body’s own defence system and the ‘germ’ was understood in the context of its host, terrain, and conditions of the environment both internal and external and it didn’t create superbugs in the process.
End of the final chapter of a new book entitled:
A Lesser-Known History of How Nature Does Mass Immunization a Whole Lot Better than Us!: Don’t Count Your Children ’til they’ve had the POX
Compiled and Edited
by A. Parent
References to Conclusion
 Child, J and Shuter, P. (1992,), Letter to the ‘TIMES’ 1854, Understanding History, Vol. 2, p. 101. Heinemann [Available Online on Google Books]: https://books.google.ie/books/about/Understanding_History.html?id=DsNKdbFrP7wC&redir_esc=y
 Science Museum (n.d.) Louis Pasteur the French chemist (1822-95), Brought to Life [Available online]: http://broughttolife.sciencemuseum.org.uk/broughttolife/people/louispasteur
 Weiss, R. A., (2015), Reflections on the Virulence of Infections, In, (eds.,) Butler, C. D., Dixon, J., &. Capon, A. G., Health of People, Places and Planet: Reflections based on Tony McMichael’s four decades of contribution to epidemiological understanding, ANU Press (Australian National University), p. 514, What is a pathogen, [Available online]: https://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p320071/html/ch29.xhtml?referer=&page=55
 Weiss, R. A., (2015), Reflections on the Virulence of Infections, In, (eds.,) Butler, C. D., Dixon, J., &. Capon, A. G., Health of People, Places and Planet: Reflections based on Tony McMichael’s four decades of contribution to epidemiological understanding, ANU Press (Australian National University), p. 520, The Concept of Virulence, [Available online]: https://press-files.anu.edu.au/downloads/press/p320071/html/ch29.xhtml?referer=&page=55
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