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Don’t ignore over 100 years of medical knowledge

POSTED December 4, 2009 11:06 p.m.
Dear Editor,
Louis Pasteur died in 1895 and Robert Koch died in 1910. Their great works were done in the 1860s through the 1890s. What they knew 120 to 150 years ago was nothing compared to what we know now. Dave Dubyak uses their foundational, but primitive understanding to try to “not to single out each vaccine, but to educate people of their dangers and to advocate effective alternatives.” He claims that, “Germs are the smallest, weakest and least virile of all forms of living cells and are not capable of attacking and infecting a healthy cell.”
Really? Bacteria fossils are the oldest fossils that we find. Three and a half billion years ago, they were trapped in sedimentary rock and are the only fossils seen for the next two billion years. They are found living in core samples from twelve miles below the Earth. They are found living in ice and the boiling waters of the pools in Yellowstone National Park. They flourish in your intestines and can survive the acid environment of your stomach. Many are friendly to us and are vital to our digestion and fighting off yeast infections. In Manteca, you can buy a beer, fermented with yeast recovered from a piece of amber that is 42 million years old. With it were two strains of bacteria, which are reproducing quite nicely. Unfortunately, the insect trapped with them is long since dead.
Any teenager knows that bacteria can feed on living organisms, not just the dead cells that Mr. Dubyak claims. Tinea pedis, also a germ, is a fungal infection known as athlete’s foot, which is parasitic and really enjoys the warm, moist tissue found between your toes. A virus wouldn’t be successful if it didn’t attack a healthy cell. It needs the cell’s machinery to reproduce itself.  Protozoa really enjoy attacking your intestinal system and live in pretty harsh environments waiting to infect you.
Using insurance company reports from sixty years ago when there were poor methods of identifying diseases, quoting scientists from over one hundred years ago does not reflect the current state of scientific knowledge. Consider the efforts of Rotary International in raising the money to wipe out polio worldwide. If what Mr. Dubyak claims is true, they would be wasting their time and money but they are closing in on eradicating the disease. Why ignore what happened to the incidence of polio in America after the immunization programs started in the 1950s?
He cites a doctor in North Carolina who recommends not eating sweets. Did the people really stop eating sweets because he said they should or is it just a coincidence?  Is sugar consumption really so high in Asia and Africa and that is why they still have polio? Did people in the 1930s and 1940s reduce eating sweets and not get sick or did the Great Depression and World War II prevent people from gathering as much because of a lack of money and sugar rationing so they didn’t pass germs? We need to look at what is happening now and not one hundred and fifty years ago. Still, over 200 people died from polio using his “effective alternative.”
 If everyone followed his advice, we would have hundreds of thousands of deaths due to polio as opposed to having no polio deaths in the United States for about thirty years now and none in the western hemisphere for the last 20 years, due to vaccinations.
Eating healthy, reducing stress, exercise, avoiding vices has always been recommended by medical science. “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  This is good advice. Telling people that germs can’t infect healthy cells is not supported by evidence and is harmful advice. Statistics have shown that mass vaccinations have improved our health. The current data is available and conclusive.
— Eric Julien  
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