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“Polio-like” Cluster in California Has Eerie Echoes

Polio vaxBy Dan Olmsted

Here’s something worth knowing about the cluster of “polio-like illnesses” identified by doctors in the San Francisco area: Some of the first outbreaks of actual poliomyletis in the United States more than a century ago happened in the same area.

Is history repeating itself? Are more cases on the way, and not just in California? It’s a question worth asking, and far more important to public health than headline-grabbing measles and whooping cough outbreaks. But don’t hold your breath, because the real answer may say more about the nature of modern illness than most mainstream medical “experts” would care to consider.

As news outlets reported on the cases on Monday – “five patients who developed paralysis in one or more of their limbs between August 2012 and July 2013” in a 100-mile radius in California, CNN said – I was drawn back to the series Mark Baxill and I wrote in 2011, called The Age of Polio: How an Old Virus and New Toxins Triggered a Man-Made Epidemic.

In that 12,000-word series, we argued that a fresh look at the evidence suggested that for millennia, polio was almost always a harmless enterovirus – a stomach bug – until late in the 19th century. That's when a new pesticide called lead arsenate allowed the virus access to the nervous system, where it reached the spinal cord; this combination was the trigger for the first outbreaks of the paralytic disease called poliomyelitis.

“The reality, we believe, is that the virus itself was just half the epidemic equation -- necessary but not sufficient to create The Age of Polio," we wrote. "Outbreaks were not caused solely by poliovirus – the microbe was an ancient and heretofore harmless intestinal bug -- but by its interaction with a new toxin, most often innovative pesticides used to treat fruits and vegetables.” When children who were infected with the virus ate lead arsenate-laden produce, they were exquisitely vulnerable.

As evidence, we cited the first dozen or so outbreaks that occurred in the 1890s, just as lead arsenate was invented and first used commercially. The first of those clusters was “in 1893 in Boston (26 cases, no deaths). Then, in 1894, came what is widely regarded as the first major epidemic, in Rutland and Proctor, Vermont (132 cases, 18 deaths). Thirty more outbreaks – from such seemingly disparate locations as Oceana County, Michigan, and California’s Napa Valley -- were reported in the United States through 1909. The worst by far was New York in 1907, with 2,500 cases and a five percent mortality rate, a harbinger of the 1916 epidemic in the Northeast that killed 2,000 in New York City alone.”

Ah yes, California’s Napa Valley, just above San Francisco. Anyone? Anyone? We suspected widespread early use of lead arsenate in grape-growing country. In fact, the San Francisco area was home to three of the first dozen outbreaks – a quarter of the total. According to the peer-reviewed journal paper, “The Spatial Dynamics of Polio,” they were San Francisco and Napa, 1896 (three victims); San Joaquin Valley, 1899 (four victims); and San Francisco and vicinity, 1901 (55 victims). One fourth of the earliest clusters, in and around San Francisco.

Those were hardly the only clues. Oceana County, Michigan, was known as the Asparagus Capital of the World. Another of those early clusters was in Cherryfield, Maine -- the Blueberry Capital of the World. Boston in 1893 -- the first wide use of lead arsenate, to fight a gypsy moth invasion of apple trees.

As Cher said to Nicolas Cage in Moonstruck: "Snap out of it!" It's hard to see how “the experts” could miss something this obvious – that poliomyelitis outbreaks had a toxic co-factor, that the toxic co-factor was a new ag chemical, and that the new ag chemical could only be lead arsenate --  although having spent the last decade on the history of autism, I kind of get it. The whole intellectual terrain is toxic: What’s involved is not just a virus, nor an environmental hazard, but a combination that threatened both germ theory – the medical industry – and the agriculture industry. (Which kept on modernizing – the really big polio epidemics began post-World War II, as did the rise of DDT as the even-deadlier replacement for lead arsenate.)

From autism (as well as Parkinson’s), we’ve also learned that pesticides can be a risk for neurological disorders – a well-regarded study in 2007 found an apparent higher risk of autism in mothers who lived near farm fields in California’s Central Valley, where pesticide drift is a well-known phenomenon. It called for more study, which one might have thought was a matter of urgency. (Mark Blaxill and I have also shown that the first cases of autism, reported in 1943, included families with startling background exposures to the new ethylmercury compounds, including the fungicide Ceresan.)

So what’s going on with this latest “polio-like” outbreak, which the doctors in California suspect may be the result of another (non-polio) enterovirus? Who knows, but I consider it eminently reasonable to put toxins on the table when I come across the words “enterovirus,” “San Francisco,” “polio-like” and “cluster” in the same news story. ("Speculation," said Darwin, "is the basis of all good and original observation." One might also speculate on a role for the current epic California drought  -- there's no rain to wash the pesticides off the produce; poliomyelitis cases were known to increase during dry summers.)

And it’s reasonable to be concerned this time around, too – remember, 3 cases of actual poliomyelitis in San Francisco in 1896 presaged 2,000 deaths in New York City just two decades later, followed by wave after worsening wave of epidemics.

We’d be a lot further along on all this, I suspect, if the “experts” had paid more attention to the evidence more than a century ago. There's still time.


Dan Olmsted is Editor of Age of Autism.



OB Sety

Have the experts ruled out the HPV vaccine? People need to research the side effects of HPV vaccine: From Wikipedia: "Guillain–Barré–Strohl syndrome, is an acute polyneuropathy, a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. Ascending paralysis, weakness beginning in the feet and hands and migrating towards the trunk, is the most typical symptom, and some subtypes cause change in sensation or pain, as well as dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. It can cause life-threatening complications, in particular if the respiratory muscles are affected or if the autonomic nervous system is involved. The disease is usually triggered by an infection."

Fight Autism and Win

Another excellent article! The entire polio virus epidemic was not truly caused by polio itself but more likely the DDT they were spraying in their houses, on the cattle and it was getting into the milk. Today most cases of "polio" are caused by the recombinant viral strain in the vaccines. I'm sure this will be used as a reason to sell more polio vaccines unfortunately.

Joe Salaman

I wonder how recently all the children affected by this had their polio shots?
To Bob Moffitt: FYI Roundup is a herbicide not a pesticide, it is an organo-phosphate, DDT is an organo-chlorate, all these types of compounds, in fact all pesticides attack the nervous system of all living things directly, repeated exposure will break down the blood/brain barrier and protective coating of the nerves, leading to symptoms from headaches to paralysis. We have Hitler and his scientists to thank for inventing these new insideous poisons to kill Jews, and our government for going to Germany to capture those scientists and further the chemical arms race(operation paperclip),and Monsanto&co for putting them in our food. Then the FDA for telling us not to eat fat and colesterol which protects us from them and feeds our nervous system. I think most all our neurological "diseases" today are caused by these compounds along with heavy metals. Whichever way you look at it long enough, you will conclude as I have, that all this is no accident and some very evil and extremly wealthy people are behind it. It is surely not a coincidence that the same corporations are involved in the production of chemical weapons, pesticides and herbicides, drugs and vaccines. This vicious cycle of profit is what really runs the world since WW2.

Detrah Hele

My understanding is that when America banned poisons like DDT, we just shipped them to countries like India. We lived in India, and I'm hard pressed to believe they are having the autistic explosion we are having. Or the polio-like symptoms. Does their diet make a difference? Surely they have the same friendly bug that would turn on them in the face of agri poisons. --Detrah Chemtrails. Maybe not. Since I live in the central valley, and we get exhaust from the Bay Area, we'd all have two heads by now.

beth johnson

I am so glad I read this first on AoA, before I saw it on the mainstream news. It would be very interesting if Erin Brokovich's team looked at lead arsenate levels in the well water in the affected areas, perhaps the drought has brought up the "bottom of the barrel" water which is more contaminated.

Dan, I am wondering if there are any diseases with an accepted explanation of [microbe + environmental toxic] combination as the cause. An example or two would be helpful in the discussions around the water cooler.

Meliss W.

I had just finished reading this article before I read your post:


While their conclusions are slightly different than yours, the arguments are still that pesticides are ultimately to blame. Whether it is pesticides with a coincidental polio infection, or pesticides mutating polio infections, the end result is the same. This has all given me much food for thought.


Seems like a more direct connection might be that people from India who have taken the live OPV could have brought polio here?




According to the folks who promote polio vaccine, they count 6 cases of wild polio and 2 cases of circulating vaccine-derived polio around the world this week. But, what are these 53000+ cases of NPAFP?

People who take the oral polio vaccine shed virus for 6-8 weeks in their feces?


hrm .. how is polio itself ruled out? I'm not sure. Interesting and important topic.

Betty Bona

@David M Burd - I'll concede. Your decade was much healthier! I was actually born in the 50s, but I didn't get most of those childhood illnesses until the 60s. My older sister had a high fever with measles, and our family doc brought my brother and me in for a measles vaccine while she was sick. We both still got the measles a few days later, but they tried to say we got a lesser version. There wasn't an ounce of truth in that and I knew it. I don't know why that didn't clue me in to question all those vaccines I gave to my kids. Just too trusting.


According to CNN, it seems these children have enterovirus 68:

"Samples from two of those children tested positive for enterovirus 68, a rare virus that has been linked to severe respiratory illness in the past. Samples from the other three children were not collected or tested soon enough to yield conclusive results, said Dr. Emmanuelle Waubant, a neurologist at the University of California, San Francisco."


"We are evaluating cases as they are reported to us," Glaser said in an e-mail to CNN. "We have not found anything at this point that raises any public health concerns."

The department "is taking these reports very seriously," Van Haren said.

The phenomenon, he added, is not entirely new, as similar outbreaks have been seen across the world."


You know what's really funny...well, it's not funny, but I'm laughing anyway, is there can be one case of bird flu in a person who works with birds, in China, and our government and CDC starts a media blitz and ramps up the vaccine making/pushing apparatus full blast. Here, we have healthy American children, yesterday it was 5, today it's "about 20" or 25, depending on what article you read, and they don't know why, they claim that the cases are not in any way connected (that was this morning's article somewhere in the mainstream LOL), and there's nothing to worry about. There's no cure, bad prognosis for recovery, but no one should panic. Oh, and they're sure it isn't polio. Whoo, glad that's ruled out. How do we know? Well, all the cases have been vaccinated. I'm pretty sure that's how they know. Oh, and probably also that the kids most likely have high antibody titers to polio (of course, that would be the case if they HAD polio too). But back to the one case of bird flu in China in a person who handles birds for a living and the sky is falling we're about to have a pandemic announcement that follows. There is a brief mention of similar cases in other parts of the world. Similar cases. They make it sound like one or two a year. In India alone, as of the below article published last month, there were "a minimum of 53,563 cases of NPAFP have been reported in the last 13 months (NPAFP stands for non polio Acute Flaccid Paralysis). What a relief that India is about to be declared polio free, huh?


Maybe if the paralysis was caused by a flu virus, maybe if it came from China, we wouldn't be told not to worry. Because we're told to worry day and night about the flu. More than 50,000 cases in a 13 month period in India. Why do they think it can't happen here? Or do they?


I'm so glad you are writing on this topic Dan! As soon as I read the headlines I wondered what is Dan Olmsted's take! Look forward to reading more common sense insights on this situation here on AoA than pretty much anywhere else on the web. Cheers!


Excuse me for asking, but how do we know these children do not actually have polio? I would like to know more about how the actual polio virus was officially ruled out? I'm asking this question only because "polio-like" sounds mysteriously similar to "autism-like," which we all know is code for AUTISM when someone is trying to protect government or drug-industry assets. How do we know that these children did not actually contract their "polio-like" illness from a malfunctioning polio vaccine?

This may be a dumb question. If so, please, enlighten me someone.


We live in the Bay Area, and my husband had sudden onset paralysis of his arm in July 2012. He was using it normally one moment, and the next moment he could not move it. Doctors didn't know what happened. He did not try any treatments for 5 months, and it remained the same with no improvement. When a new doctor wondered if it could be autoimmune related, he started a nightly dose of 3 mg naltrexone, known as "low dose naltrexone" or "LDN" at that dose. He also started a high dose B-multivitamin. Within a week there was a very noticeable improvement, and his arm is now almost back to normal.

david m burd

@Betty Bona --- As friendly competition I assert years 1940 to 1950 we kids were "healthier" than all other decades: Breastfed from birth, barely exposed to neurotoxic chemicals along with excellent nutrition and non-stop outdoor exercise, and any vaccines given at age 4+ (the insane smallpox shot, for instance).

From 1950 on, neurotoxins and vaccines began their relentless damage, along with the horrible fad of bottle-fed cow milk. But, of course you are right the 1960s were indeed very "healthy" - when compared to America's later decades and the present!

Betty Bona

I think detergents are particularly suspect as co-factors for neurologically related outcomes like the "polio-like" paralysis. These viruses (polio and this similar enterovirus) should not enter the brain, but may when the blood-brain barrier is scrubbed with detergents. Polysorbate 80 is in the ASO3 adjuvant in the H1N1 vaccine associated with narcolepsy, and it is also in the HPV vaccine. Maybe, as Jeannette's post could suggest, the detergents have also concentrated in the drinking water due to the drought. Of course, things like mercury and aluminum affect the blood-brain barrier as well. What does roundup do to the blood-brain barrier? I hate to think!

Betty Bona

I love the picture of the researcher mouth pipetting! I wonder if the parents of Kanner's original group who worked with different mercury compounds mouth pipetted. That's what everyone did back then.

Betty Bona

If we did more research on co-factors, we would probably be in an even better position to support the statement by "Stand Up!" that illness is never random (I certainly agree -- not just God's will either). Much research indicates that SV40 is a harmless virus (human infection of the SV40 monkey virus resulted from the early polio vaccine). But SV40 is highly associated with mesothelioma. Of course, everyone knows asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, but what if asbestos is merely the co-factor and the "harmless" SV40 is another co-factor or the agent. SV40 is also associated with osteosarcoma in children, brain cancers in children, and non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. What if each of these has its own co-factor turning this "harmless" virus into a cancer causing agent. I would guess heavy fluoride exposure for osteosarcoma. I'm sure there are good guesses for the other cancers as well. Then when we move on to H1N1, we see a similar story. Many people who have had it say it's not as bad as some other flu viruses. But then the vaccine using ASO3 adjuvant resulted in an increased risk of narcolepsy, and an increased rate of narcolepsy followed the H1N1 "epidemic" in the non-vaccinating Beijing population where pollution is out of control. My guess -- The ASO3 adjuvant is a co-factor and something in the polluted air of Beijing is a co-factor? (I think narcolepsy may have increased in the US as well, but just not so dramatically). The scary part is that we have so many possible co-factors now aside from the ingredients in vaccines (like atrazine, flame retardants, roundup, and all the millions of detergents in food to name a few) that we may have increased the lethality of childhood diseases. I'm not sure we'll be able to get back to the fairly benign childhood diseases we all knew and lived through in the 1960s.

david m burd

Dan, In 2010 the Vaccine Industry abetted by mainstream media accused any kids not being up to date on their whooping cough (pertussis) vaccination shots were CAUSING the California epidemic, with 10 infant deaths. Most all the infants were too young to have received the DTaP shot and had Mexican immigrant mothers (that throwing a confounding factor into the actual treatment/cause of death).

Over the last three years there has been hysterical promotion and even official State legislation to force all California kids entering 7th Grade (10 - 11 years old) to get a pertussis "booster shot", on top of hysterical promotion and coercing all parents to give their 2-year olds the shot. Even if the kids had been vaccinated, if there was not proof with medical records they had to get yet another shot - welcome to Vaccine Hell.

Seems to me this avalanche of more pertussis vaccine shots the last two years, on top of the usual toxic load of all the other shots, should be a prime suspect in this so-called mystery.

Then, there is also an obvious suspect for girls 9 years old and up who have been cruelly damaged and paralyzed by the HPV vaccine series so cavalierly pushed and touted, perhaps ever more in California the last few years.

Of course, since The Medical Regime will never open their eyes to vaccine-damage they will continue to ever escalate to ever more toxic allopathic "fixes."

david m burd

Jeannette Bishop

Our organic farmers are now talking about wells failing, having having to pump water deeper down, etc. Supposedly the past January was the first since records were kept to have no rain. The extent of drought conditions we're experiencing perhaps haven't occurred for centuries. I wonder if something about having to irrigate (and wash and drink?) from the dregs, so to speak, of the water supply could also be a factor?


If I'm not mistaken, San Francisco was also the site of one of the first two big, concurrent AIDS outbreaks (the other being New York City) back in the late 1970's. In an extraordinary book, "Life: from Plants to Animals to Us," by the late Professor Donald Scott of Sudbury Canada, the author theorizes that AIDS occurs through the combination of a retrovirus with an otherwise harmless mycoplasma, something which did not occur until recently, and only through human intervention. I strongly recommend this hard-to-find book to anyone who can manage to put their hands on a copy.

Shawn Siegel

What I found particularly disturbing about the announcement was its subtitle: A mysterious polio-like syndrome has affected as many as 25 California children, leaving them with paralyzed limbs and little hope of recovery.

Were I a comedian, I'd at this point have to call my current act Fear of the Invisible, a line I would steal from Janine Roberts quicker'n an immune system would come to the aid of a body in toxic overload.

As long, that is, as that immune system hadn't been waterboarded by a series of poisonous injections.

They've got us by the balls of intimidation. I picture a meeting, held in, say, 1906, in which old J.D. Rockefeller himself told Flexner that for the next forever number of years AMA doctors would play a new game with patients: Diagnosis. He realized they could double the profits of the industry merely by making people so dependent on the illusory yet oh so critical need for a label, that just waiting to hear the verdict would make them sick.

Polio, shmolio. Why aren't these sonsofbitches treating these poor kids they're saddling with doom by telling not only them and their families, but the rest of the world, that this new, mysterious illness is leaving them with paralyzed limbs and little hope of recovery, with massive injections of vitamin C? After all, Dr. Fred Klenner left a trail of recovered victims of paralytic polio using that treatment. But far be it from the AMA to actually come to the aid of one of its patients.

Laura Hayes


I am so glad you have tackled this topic as it's making news in CA. Little mention that these cases are occurring in individuals who have been vaccinated with the polio vaccine. No mention that these cases could very well be an unplanned-for, dire consequence of the polio vaccine/a combination of vaccines.

You bring up pesticides (rightly so!) and Bob Moffitt brought up Round Up (i.e. glyphosate), so I would like to share with AoA readers a 2-part article I have just written that focuses on some of the unplanned-for, dire consequences of glyphosate...not to mention of GM-crops, and of GM-feed for livestock which will become meat consumed by humans. For those interested, go to:


Part 1 ran yesterday, and Part 2 is running today.

All of these poisons (vaccines, pesticides, GMOs, fluoridated water, amalgams, toxic cleaners, the list is endless) are combining to destroy our immune systems, health, food supply, water supply, and well-being at a catastrophic rate.

Thank you, as always, for your brilliant investigative reporting, and the courage to publish it.

Stand Up!

Excellent article Dan, thank you. Certainly plausible and quite logical considering past evidence, something that would obviously escape those with vested pharmaceutical/agricultural interests--which either reflects ignorance, or more likely a lack of integrity and sense of morality on their part.

I've always believed illness is never random, it is instead a matter of toxicity and deficiency with respect to the environment we are born into and ultimately create for ourselves. I believe this because the laws of mother nature and our current understanding of human (and animal) physiology supports this paradigm.

It'll be interesting to see how this gets spun in the "news"...corruption/deceit only begets more of the same.

Not an MD

@Melissa. I'll bet they are not calling it conversion disorder, because no one can make a vaccine to combat a psychogenic thing like conversion disorder. Very soon, we are likely to see a brand new vaccine on the market to combat enterovirus 68.


At least they're not saying it's conversion disorder.

Not an MD

I'm praying right alongside you, Bob. Thanks for the insight you provided in your article Dan.

Bob Moffitt

Praying very hard the potential dangerous pesticide in Dan's report is not Monsanto's Genetically Modified "Roundup" .. because .. if it is .. God help us all.

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