Chronic Fatigue: A Polio by another name?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by JolieLuLu, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. JolieLuLu

    JolieLuLu New Member

    My Hub found this article for me. I apologize in advance about the format in which it is posted. I don't know how to correct the format.

    The Carousel Network Chronic Neuroimmune Diseases
    Information & Support Group for Sonoma County

    Chronic Fatigue: A polio by another name

    Research into Post-Polio syndrome and chronic fatigue has-made the
    astounding discovery that the virus that most often triggers CFS is
    closely related to the one that causes polio.
    Jane Colby
    ME: The New Plague
    First and Best in Education Ltd.
    24 Nene Valley Business Park, Oundle, Peterborough, PE 8 4HL, UK
    Excerpt published in What Doctor's Don't Tell You, Vol. 6, No. 9
    Just a few decades ago, hospital wards were full of children in iron
    lungs as a result of polio. No longer. The horrific spectacle
    appeared to abate with the advent of vaccination, but nothing is
    without its price.

    The public breathed a sigh of relief and even the medical profession
    believed, and still seems to believe, that the dreaded scourge of
    polio was at last being vanquished. We read predictions that it will
    be wiped out by the year 2000.

    But a body of evidence is growing linking Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
    (CFS), also called myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME), to this terrible
    disease, largely caused by attempts to eradicate polio. An
    alternative polio seems to be upon us.

    The proceedings of the first intemational scientific conference on
    the Post-Polio Syndrome in the US have been collated in the Annals of
    the New York Academy of Science. It includes 50 papers written by 118
    contributors from a wide range of specialties, including clinical

    In particular, papers by Dr Richard Bruno, assistant professor at the
    New Jersey Medical School's department of physical medicine and
    rehabilitation and director of Post-Polio Rehabilitation and Research
    Service at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in New Jersey,
    and four other specialists compare Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Post-
    Polio Syndrome (Dalakas, et al, ed. The Post Polio Syndrome: Advances
    in the Pathogenesis Treatment,Annals, NY Academy, Sciences, 1995:
    273: 1-409). Post-Polio is developing in those who had polio 25-30
    years previously. Clinically, it is indistinguishable from CFS.

    Other researchers demonstrate that CFS is just another form of polio,
    which has increased with the advent of polio vaccination. As one type
    of gut virus has been eradicated, so other forms have had the space
    to proliferate. Up to one in every 500 Americans may have CFS,
    according to the Centers for Disease Control.

    To understand the link one needs to understand the microbiological
    habits of both polio and other enterovirus disease-that is, gut bugs.

    A historical accident has led to various names being given to
    viruses, all of which share physical , chemical and epidemiological
    characteristics of what we consider the classic polio virus, which
    science refers to as polio viruses 1, 2, and 3 (Dowsett: Journal of
    Hospital Infection, 1988:11:103-15). ln l948, a polio-like illness in
    New York state prompted scientists to culture the virus. But what
    grew looked to them at that time like a new virus.

    They called it "Coxsackie' after the small town up the Hudson River
    where it was found. And they called the disease "Atypical Polio"
    because its symptoms identified it as a kind of polio, despite the
    virus being apparently different.

    This kind of polio, "Atypical Polio,' has since been
    renamed, 'Chronic Fatigue Svndrome,' or ME. But it remains a kind of
    poIio despite the change of name. and newer technology has shown up
    the generic similarities of the most frequent agent that causes it.

    These techniques place Coxsackie, the virus most often implicated in
    CFS, in the polio family tree, along with so-called echo viruses.
    Coxsackie has been further divided into Coxsackie type A (with 24
    viruses) and Coxsackie type B (six viruses ). There are 34 echo
    viruses. In total, there are at least 72 enteroviruses in all, with
    new ones still being discovered.

    All this has been unnecessarily confusing and complicated, even for
    doctors. These days newly discovered enteroviruses are just given a
    new number, not a new name, since their inter-relationship is

    Had the techniques been available that we now have at our disposal,
    all these viruses might simply have been called "Polio 1 through 72."

    There are several angles from which to investigate the hypothesis
    that CFS is a type of polio. One is its clinical symptoms. Dr.
    Elizabeth Dowsett, consultant microbiologist of the Southeast Essex
    NHS Trust who is in the forefront of British CFS research, explains
    that true CFS (as opposed to fatigue states with other etiologies)
    strikes one clinically as being polio-like, and it has often been
    diagnosed as a "non-paralytic polio." "These patients have weakness,
    pain down their spines and are systemically ill," she says.

    She feels that it has been an unfortunate mistake to turn to the
    label "Chronic Fatigue" because true CFS is a neurological condition
    that usually originates with a gut virus infection like Coxsackie.

    Apart from clinical examination, in some cases of CFS you can
    actually demonstrate the presence of gut virus infection in the
    patient. The requirement to put off diagnosing CFS for six months
    after the patient falls ill has unwittingly militated against this.
    If tests are not done very rapidly after the onset of infection, it
    is too late to identify the virus.

    A blood screening test called the IGM, which shows up recent
    infection, can be positive up to three months after infection in
    adults. As the enteroviruses are characterized by their relapsing
    nature (on average, three-week intervals), it could also be
    identified on relapse.

    Apart from modern techniques, a research procedure called the acid
    elution test can identify your antibody from a circulating virus and
    can be applied to viruses multiplying in the bowel. Years ago it was
    difficult to diagnose polio, and it was this very test which was used.

    A third way to compare CFS with polio is by looking at studies of
    actual outbreaks which identified the viruses causing it. Here the
    evidence is particularly striking.

    A recent paper by Richard T. Johnson, at the Department of Neurology,
    John Hopkins University School of Medicine, in Baltimore, published
    in the 1995 Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences mentioned
    above, sets out evidence that has been available since the 1950s. "In
    the spring of 1957," he wrote, "we investigated an epidemic of
    poliomyelitis in Hawaii...of the 39 cases of nonparalytic
    poliomyelitis, only four were related to type I poliovirus. There
    were 16 cases of echovirus 9, seven cases of Coxsackie, and four to
    five other enteroviruses."

    The very enteroviruses known to be implicated in CFS were here
    identified as causing "non-paralytic polio." CFS has often been
    diagnpsed as "non-paralytic polio." And even more interestingly, two
    of the 38 cases of paralytic disease were not caused by the polio
    virus at all, but by one of the Coxsackie viruses.

    So we know that enteroviruses in general can cause varying forms of
    the disease we call polio.

    Other parallels between CFS and polio concern neurological damage.
    In the November 1991 edition of Orthopedics, Dr. Bruno says that "all
    the evidence available shows conclusively that every case of
    poliomyelitis, human or experimental, exhibits lesions of the brain.
    In the experimental animal this included non-paralytic and abortive
    cases as well as paralytic cases." CFS has been diagnosed by both
    italicized names. In fact, brain abnormalities can now be
    demonstrated in the brains of people with CFS using SPECT and MRI

    One would expect there to be differences in the diseases caused by
    different viruses, but if these viruses are all of the same family
    and use the same receptor sites in the body, one would also expect
    there to be simularities. This is just what we find.

    Dr. Bruno says: "Despite the differences between poliomyelitis and
    CFS, an association with the polio virus was suggested by the fact
    that, of the more than one dozen CFS outbreaks before the
    introduction of the Salk vaccine, nine occurred during or immediately
    after outbreaks of polio, and several involved hospital staff who
    cared for polio patients" (Annals, NY Academy of Sciences, 1995).

    There is also the case of a woman who fell ill with classical CFS
    while nursing a lady friend with acute paralytic polio (Hyde et al:
    Epidemiological Aspects of ME/CFS, Nightingale Research Foundation,
    Ottowa, Canada, 1994).

    But if CFS is a type of polio, why doesn't everyone exposed to the
    relevant viruses develop ME just as they did polio?

    It has been forgotten that, as Dr. Thomas Stuttaford of The London
    Times explains, ". . only a small number of those infected with the
    polio virus became paralyzed; about 90 percent didn't even realize
    that they had annthing more threatening than a cold." With polio and
    CFS, the state of your immune system governs whether you will be

    By altering the population's resistance to a particular organism, we
    alter the balance of infectious agents in the environment. The
    circulation of wild polio viruses 1-3 has declined through
    vaccination. However, this has left us open to the other 69 polio-
    related viruses, which have thrived (see How viruses compete with
    each other).

    It is therefore not surprising that since the late 1950s the
    incidence of CFS has risen, and experts predict that it will be the
    neurological disease of the 21st century. By suppressing the spread
    of three enteroviruses we have opened the door to the rest.

    The argument about whether enterovirus infection persists over many
    years is still raging. In her 1995 review of the proceedings of the
    1994 Post-Polio Conference, Dr. Dowsett draws attention to new
    evidence of persistent enterovirus infection in the central nervous
    system of Post-Polio patients.

    She concluded: "Three separate groups of Virologists from the US, UK
    and France have found fragments of enteroviral RNA in the spinal
    cord, cerebrospinal fluid and bIood of some patients with Post-Polio
    syndrome. The fragments are identified as polio virus by some and as
    Coxsackie virus by others," she said.

    It is thought that the emergence of late-onset Post-Polio fatigue may
    result from age-related changes in brain cells that survived the
    original polio infection (Bruno, Annals, NY Academy of Sciences,

    But it can be observed through case histories that just as we see
    Post-Polio Syndrome 30 years after initial infection, so we are
    seeing "Post-CFS" as well. The Nightingale Research Foundation in
    Ottawa proposes that in fact they are one and the same condition-
    others believe they may be variations of each other.

    What has arisen is "two new diseases with different names, with
    different degrees of acceptance and exactly the same set of symptoms
    at exactly the same time. It is unrealistic to believe that we are
    dealing with two different disease processes and two different
    causes," the researchers concluded.

    A paper investigating the epidemiological aspects of CFS has revealed
    further convincing parallels between the behavior of this disease and
    polio. It describes the onset of CFS as mainly being ushered in by
    a "minor illness" which has "recently been described as a flu-like
    illness. . .", The researchers continue: ". . in reality it is
    identical to and has all of the features and variability of
    the 'minor illness' of missed or abortive poliomyelitis."

    In comparisons with epidemic polio going back to 1916, they note
    that "we see the same two typical features" in a typical year with an
    epidemic of CFS: "a decreasing incidence from January to reach a
    summer low; then ... the strong late summer increased incidence,
    peaking in the August to October period." (Hyde et al: Nightingale
    Research Foundation. Ottowa, 1994).

    CFS, or Atypical Polio, is such a serious and devastatingly
    debilitating multisystem malfunction leading to such profound
    weakness in some children that they are unable to speak and have to
    be tube-fed. But they can breathe; enteroviruses have an affinity for
    certain tissues and many do not attack the respiratory center,
    causing paralysis, as in polio itself.

    Children with polio were given intensive physiotherapy and exercised.
    Now. up to a half of survivors have gone on to develop Post-Polio. It
    has been predicted that this will eventually rise to 100 percent.

    What are we doing to our teenage CFS sufferers when we force them
    back to school, deny home tutoring and tell them to exercise as a
    form of therapy?

    The treatment of choice for those with Post-Polio is "adequate rest,
    energy conservation, the pacing of activities, and reducing physical
    and emotional stress" (Bruno: Annals NY Academy of Sciences, 1995).

    What on earth will happen in 30 years' time to children now getting
    CFS in a climate where they are disbelieved and told to push
    themselves through the pain barrier? The condition 'Post-CFS,' which
    we are already seeing in adults, may well await them with a vengeance.

    We have to ask ourselves the disturbing question: if polio victims
    had been able to breathe, would we ever have taken that disease

    Love and light,
  2. springrose22

    springrose22 New Member

    Very interesting. Thanks for posting. When I am feeling better????? I will do more research on this. It wouldn't surprise me to find that the polio vaccine is responsible for all this illness. Amazing stuff. Right now, whatever-I-have, is getting the better of me, time to lie down. Marie
    [This Message was Edited on 02/26/2007]
  3. Diva55

    Diva55 New Member

    Wow - that's an interesting article.

    If CFS/Me is thought to be an Atypical Polio virus that would be a major breakthrough to pin down this DD as an actual virus.

    And if a virus it could be researched & treated just as polio was.

    I shall take this article to my doctor.

    Do you know when it was published?

    Many thanks for posting it.
  4. justlooking

    justlooking New Member

    I've brought up this question before here, as my father had polio as a child and now shows symptoms of post polio. I had always wondered if there was something to it, as his symptoms are very similar to mine.

    Thanks for sharing.
  5. JolieLuLu

    JolieLuLu New Member

    sorry it took me so long to respond, but we finished our move this past weekend and i crashed for a few days.

    Ill ask my hub where he got this article---he belongs to a CFS newsgroup.

    Dncn--my fishy is not a flushy---YET! LOL

    Happy march everyone:)

    Love and light,
  6. maxwedge

    maxwedge New Member

    If CFS is caused by a polio type virus, why is it that women get CFS at four times the rate of men? Infectious agents do not tend to be gender specific.

    Best wishes,
  7. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    Thank you for that article, Jolie!

    I remember when that theory was first proposed. I think it was in the 1990s. It made my hairs stand up when I first heard about it, also. Because the timing is so perfect. CFS first started being seen in large numbers right after everyone got vaccinated for polio.

    I think it is as plausible as any other theory about what CFS is. When I first heard about it, I hoped that someone would follow up on it, and continue doing research into the idea. I wonder if any progress has been made in proving this theory by now.

    Why did this theory show up, appear to be brilliant, and then fade away?

    I'm glad you are done moving!
  8. Jennifer

    Jennifer New Member

    I had Polio when I was 4. Now I am 64. I have Chronic Fatigue, Fibro, R.A. and nerve damage. I think it all came from the Polio virus. Take care ,Jennifer
  9. wrthster

    wrthster New Member

    I completely agree with the poster who said who knows what the polio vaccine might have done to us. I can actually remember when I was a child my legs completely giving out, my crawling into my parents bedroom, and my father taking me to the ER. The brilliant Physician diagnosed it as "growing pains"! Maybe this is why so many Homeopaths all these years have been concerned about vaccines.
  10. Daisys

    Daisys Member

    I got CFIDS in 1978. I slowly got better, was considered well (with some limits on energy), and then, because of another illness, ended up in the hospital for 10 days. During the hospital stay, I was discovered to have an enteroviral infection. I was given Ampligen, which did nothing for it. A doctor told me to try to feel where the source was because it was so widespread. Doctors tried to locate a lump or painful area to see where it was coming from. I was sent home still feverish from the infection. I've had fatigue that has never gone away since then.

    Obviously, this article will be used in upcoming appointments. Thank you very much.

  11. maxwedge

    maxwedge New Member

    I found your original post quite interesting as most readers have. I sent an email along with a link about polio CFS link to Dr. Garth Nicholson and asked him what he thought. If anyone in the country would know about this, he would. Here is his response to my email.

    "Post polio syndrome is an old story that could be important for a small subset of CFS patients. Since few CFS pts show any signs of re-activation of polio virus.

    I doubt this cohort constitutes more than a few percent of CFS patients, who have many other more prominent and active bacterial and viral infections."

    I am not trying to rain on anyone's parade just thought I would share the view of one of the country's leading experts in the field.

    Best wishes,
  12. bunnyfluff

    bunnyfluff Member

    I have often wondered if vaccines have had as much to do with this as virus's we have had.

    Thanks for a great and informative article.

    BTW- to answer another's ?? about why women are more prone to get this than men, most Dr's feel it has to do with estrogen. Our hormonal differences make us react different.
  13. Diva55

    Diva55 New Member

    I may be reading this wrong as I can't take in the whole article but I think it reads that we may have a strain of the polio virus:

    "This kind of polio, "Atypical Polio,' has since been
    renamed, 'Chronic Fatigue Svndrome,' or ME"

    Which I think has nothing to do with the polio vaccine - if that was the case, many of the people in the world who were vaccinated would have CFS/ME.

    I don't think the article is saying we have post polio syndrome either - it's just relating that syndrome to the same sort of symptoms as us.

    I believe it's saying we have a type of polio strain. If that's the case that is great, as they foud a cure for polio and by applying research to another strain of polio a cure surely could be found for that!

    Well that's my take & sorry if I have misread it but I will read it through when I have the energy to apply myself.

  14. Forebearance

    Forebearance Member

    I agree with you, Diva55. I believe the theory was that as the polio virus was supressed in the human popluation by vaccinations, a different strain of enterovirus filled the biological niche.

  15. hi there,

    ive been doing some research on the very interested in where i got the ME/chronic fatigue syndrome from.i know i didnt have it in the 1980s,it attacked me id say in the early,to middle 1990s.

    well im sort of finding pieces of the jig saw, that is my life since before,and during this condition, that someone gave me.and i say gave me,because my gut feeling has always been that i was given this condition,either during a hysterectomy operation in 95..or.. and this is why im angry.after being given a liquid to swallow,in 1990,by my doctor,after giving birth to my child.

    now i can remember my mum taking me to the doctor,when i was say about 5 years old.i remember being given a spoonfull of polio syrup,and a lump of sugar to take that nasty taste away from the mouth.

    so then,why in 1990,after just having my baby, was i again given the polio syrup to swallow?not the sugar lump though haha ,as the doctor told me the vaccine tastes better these days.

    i told the doctor at that time,that id already had the polio syrup as a child,so didnt need this new dose.

    however he was very pushy and said,we have been told to give new mums the polio vaccine,so id like you to take it please.which i did.

    id just like to say that a few years later,when i began to get mobility problems,he was the one who said,(in not so many words)that its all in my dare he say that.

    now im thinking after reading a article on a ME site,if that doctor and his pushyness to make me have this polio syrup,has caused me to have ME/chronic fatigue syndrome,then there will be hell to pay,once i get proof that it caused this horrible condition.

    for now i am keeping a open mind,but get ready if he gave it to me.

    then im thinking,what if,whatever bug got into me,came from the birthing rooms at the hospital i was in,in 1990.?and maybe the doctors had word about it,kept it quiet,but said,oohhh lets give any new mums the polio vaccine as a precaution.

    after id given birth (and it was a difficult one)my baby was taken away for a few hours,my husband sent home.i was losing lots of blood (but didnt need a transfusion)

    my vagina was packed full of cotton wool,and i was pushed into a darkened room,still laying on the birthing bed,with my legs in stirups.i was left there,id say over 30 minutes on my own and scared,because there werent enough nurses and midwives to attend to all the ladies giving birth,that there was no one to stitch me up.

    well thanks for letting me rant on.

    id just like to let you know what ive read on the ME site,its only a small snipit from the actual piece on there but here goes.

    post-polio syndrome is often only recognised where the patient has had a diagnosis of polio as a child.there are cases where someone has been diagnosed with polio but did not suffer it severely,and when symptoms have appeared in later life,consultants have claimed that it could not possibly be post-polio syndrome.

    one hypothesis for chronic fatigue syndrome and ME is that people have had a mild infection with polio earlier in life,which has not been recognised.

    but the same weakness in the immune reaction to the virus that results in clear cases of post-polio syndrome occurs in these patients.

    a central problem is that anyone vaccinated against polio could show viral titers,and that the immune processes that could be involved with a recurrence of the viral activity could have been triggered by such reactivation of a whole range of viruses.

    my question...was he right to MAKE me have another polio vaccine later on in my life? did it give me a mild form of polio?is this what we call ME?or did i catch something from the birthing room,and it was hoped to be stopped with this second polio vaccine?

    kind regards


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