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October 4, 2006 at 2:57 am

Did Guillain-Barre paralyse FDR ?
Have you had your flu vaccine? Did your doctor, or your nurse warn you of the possible side-effects? Did you know that it is possible to develop paralysis, pain, loss of feeling and even need for a ventilator as a result of flu vaccine? There is a rare condition called Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS.) with all these features that can develop after flu vaccine, the chronic form of it is called Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP.). Most doctors have heard of GBS., very few have seen a patient, or treated it; even fewer have even heard of CIDP. GBS was first described in 1916, it develops rapidly with numbness and paralysis rising up from the feet, in some it paralyses breathing. CIDP develops slowly with vague pains, numbness and weakness defying diagnosis for some time; once developed the paralysis may persist for many years There are many people in this country contributing to the GBS/CIDP internet forum ‘[url]www.guillain-barre.com’[/url] who developed this paralysis two weeks after a flu vaccine, many of these would never have the vaccine again. Few doctors would have been aware of the paper on GBS, published five years previously, when FDR developed ascending paralysis in 1921,. Late this October the Washington Post carried the report from researchers at the University of Texas arguing that his disability was due, not to polio, as was previously thought, but to GBS, or even the chronic form C.I.D.P. Next time you are offered flu vaccine, think very carefully about having it. Do you want to be paralysed like FDR?

Today’s Washington Post carried a half-page story about a report by medical researchers at the University of Texas arguing that President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s famous disability was caused by GBS rather than by polio. According to the Post article, the medical researchers reached their conclusion by examining statistics regarding the likelihood of polio vs. the likelihood of GBS for someone Roosevelt’s age; the researchers’ numbers are 39% for polio vs. 51% for GBS. The researchers also examined statistics regarding the relative likelihood of each of 8 particular features of Roosevelt’s illness being caused by each illness (6 of the 8 features favor GBS). The article also notes counter-arguments put forth in response by two Roosevelt biographers contending that Roosevelt probably had polio rather than GBS.
Factors cited by one side or the other in the article include: Roosevelt was 39 when he became ill; GBS was more likely than polio to occur in adults; few doctors were aware of GBS in 1921; throughout the years until polio was largely eliminated through vaccination, many cases of GBS were misdiagnosed as polio; Roosevelt, as the son of a rich family, had relatively little contact with other children as he was growing up, might not have been exposed to the polio virus as a child, and hence it would not be surprising that he developed the disease at age 39; and Roosevelt visited a summer camp for poor NYC children 14 days before he developed symptoms (suggesting that he might have been exposed to the polio virus at the summer camp).

The article also describes Roosevelt’s activities on the day before his symptoms appeared. He was at a family summer home on an island in Canada’s Bay of Fundy. He felt tired and achy, but still took his wife and 2 sons sailing. They stopped at an island where they saw a small fire burning and spent an hour putting the fire out. After returning home, he took a group of children swimming at a pond. After the swimming, he raced the children over the two-mile distance from the pond to the house. When Roosevelt swung his legs out of bed the next morning, his left leg buckled. Within 3 days his legs were paralyzed and his arms and shoulders were week.
The article notes that vigorous exercise in the ealry stage of a polio infection is known to increase the risk of paralysis and suggests that, if Roosevelt had polio, his vigorous exercise the day before his symptoms appeared may have accounted for his paralysis.

After reading the article, I’m undecided. It seems unlikely that Roosevelt, even as the son of a rich family, would not have been exposed to the polio virus before age 39 (the article notes that only 1 out of 200 people who contact polio have even temporary paralysis, so it’s likely that a large percentage of the population were polio carriers back then). On the other hand, it also seems unlikely that a 39-year-old who suffered at most a moderately-severe case of GBS and who apparently did not suffer recurring attacks would not have had a fuller recovery. Of course, it’s possible that back in the 1920’s, doctors told polio victims that exercise would not aid their recovery and instead told polio victims to conserve their energy by avoiding physical activity whenever possible; if so, Roosevelt may have avoided doing the rehab exercises or even ordinary physical activity that would have furthered his recovery (if, in fact, he had GBS rather than polio).

However I do feel the cause of FDR’s disability whether Polio or GBS is a bit irrelevant now, what is relevant is how he acted as a role model and advocate for disabled people. It’s a pity there are not more like him today, I can count on one hand the number of people in the limelight, whether it be politics , business or showbiz, who have are role models for the disabled community worldwide.

Just a few weeks ago I wrote a letter to the Editor of my local newspaper about Influenza Vaccines (flu shots) and GBS: How the CDC has manipulated numbers to show an economic benefit for flu shots in the past, and that Congressional follow-up studies have shown their mandated Medicare funded project showed a disappointing 31-45% effectiveness “in preventing hospitalization from influenza or pneumonia.” In fact, some reports have shown Medicare payments were higer for those who had received the flu shot. The CDC is now saying that 40-50,000 lives are lost each year because of influenza. Just two years ago, this number was only 20-25,000. What is the really strange part of this doubled death rate? The three influenza viruses used this year are the same as the ones used last year – A/Moscow/10/99-like strain (H3N2); A/New Caledonia/20/99 strain (H1N1); B/Hong Kong/330/2001-like strain. If influenza deaths are doubling – Are we missing something from the CDC’s picture? And of course, I explained the rare possibility that flu shots cause a neurological illness called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. I included a web site, and suggested that they read the literature before getting the shot: [url]http://www.vaccineshoppe.com/US_PDF…e_2002.2003.pdf[/url]

Well would you Adam and Eve it!

On the Letters page in the national newspaper “Ireland on Sunday” in black and white (oh, alright I know! What colour did I think it would be!!!) a letter from a chap in Waterford about this very subject. And the page is headlined “Who says the vaccines we are given are safe?”

I’ve reprinted it below:

“Hardly anyone ever bothers to check up on the toxicity of the various drugs and vaccines that the medical profession usually prescribes for its patients, such as the flu vaccine.

Yet no vaccine has ever been proved totally effective and safe, and the flu vaccine is no exception. Ever since the flu vaccine was introduced, reports of its ineffectiveness and adverse reactions, including deaths, have been filling medical journals. Incidents include the 1976 swine-flu vaccination debacle in the United States with its hundreds of cases of Guillain-Barre paralaysis in vaccinees and numerous deaths. Some 4,000 law suits were lodged, costing over $3bn in compensatin.

Outbreaks of such deadly diseases as legionnaires’ disease also occur followng intensified flu vaccine campaigns.

The flu vaccine is cultured in chick embryos. It also includes the chemical preservative thiomersal, which is 50pc mercury and so can damage the brain, as the American government recently admitted. To inactivate (kill) the viruses harvested from chick embryos, the chemical formaldehyde is added. This is a known carcinogen, while there has been controversy since 1955 regarding its failure to inactivate the flu virus in the vaccine.”

Written by Patrick J Carroll, Waterford