The first known outbreak of chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) took place during 1934-1935 at the Los Angeles County Hospital and affected 198 doctors and nurses during a polio outbreak.
300 doctors and nurses at the Los Angeles County Hospital were given an early polio vaccine developed by Dr. Maurice Brodie, as well as approximately 7,000 children. (Active Immunization Against Poliomyeleitis, American Journal of Public Health, February 1936) The vaccine was passaged multiple times through mouse brain tissue. (Attempts to Produce Poliomyelitis in Refractory Laboratory Animals, March 1, 1935, doi: 10.3181/00379727-32-7876)
In addition to the polio vaccine, the doctors and nurses were also given an accompanying "immune serum" to boost their response to the vaccine. This immune serum contained "merthiolate", otherwise known as thimerosal, as a preservative. (Use of Serum and the Routine and Experimental Laboratory Findings in the 1934 Poliomyelitis Epidemic, American Journal of Public Health, First read on September 3, 1934)
It was during this time period that the first children who would go onto develop autism were born. These children were born to parents who worked primarily in the medical and scientific fields. Do you think these were the parents who would have been first in line to get a polio vaccine for their children? I do.
In 2009 Dr. Judy Mikovits and her team reported in an article in the journal, Science, an association between a mouse retrovirus, XMRV, and patients with ME/CFS. The virus appears to be a mouse virus which has adapted to human beings. She would later report that this retrovirus was found in high numbers in children with autism. Viruses and mercury, what a combination, huh?
Can you understand now why I believe that the book I co-wrote with Dr. Judy Mikovits, PLAGUE: One Scientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), Autism, and Other Diseases is the scientific story of the century?
This was likely the first time that mouse tissue (possibly with a recombinant murine-human retrovirus) was injected into human beings along with a dose of mercury. I will let you determine whether that sounds like a recipe for disaster, especially since retroviruses have the tendency to derange the immune system, allowing all sorts of viral, bacterial, and parasitic pathogens to rage out of control.
I suspect this was the chain of events leading to the plague of neuro-immune diseases we face today, especially since research published on XMRV by Emory University in 2011 showed that the retrovirus could likely become airborne, a nightmare scenario.
I believe that this reinterpretation of the events of 1934-1935 provide support for a common genesis of both chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and autism.
(Author's note - I am indebted to Mark Blaxill for his discussions with me about the use of thimerosal during this time period. Mark has made me aware that the narrative I have given in this article is more accurate than the one provided in the book. Future editions will specifically state that the thimerosal were part of the immune serum. Left unchanged are the observations made by Blaxill and Olmsted in their book, Age of Autism, of the use of mercury fungicides utilized during this period and their likely use by the parents of some of the first cases of autism.)
Kent Heckenlively is a Founding Contributing Editor to Age of Autism and co-author with Dr. Judy Mikovits of Plague: One Scientist's Intrepid Search for the Truth about Human Retroviruses and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Autism, and Other Diseases. Released on November 18, 2014. Visit his website at Plague The Book. You can order the book HERE.