Diphtheria – Do We really Need a Vaccine for It?

Diphtheria – Do We really Need a Vaccine for It?

by Stand for Health Freedom

Diphtheria is an illness brought on by a toxin given off by a bacterium: Corynebacterium diphtheriae. Symptoms can look like tonsillitis and include sore throat and a rash. More severe cases can lead to myocarditis and death. The disease got its name from its most notable feature: the leathery look of a membrane that grows in the throat, which can stifle air flow. In Greek, the word “diphtheria” means prepared hide or leather.

Many people do not have symptoms even if the bacteria are found in their bodies, and those who are most likely to suffer serious effects or death are children. According to “Turtles All the Way Down,” a book that examines the “science and myth” behind vaccines, some strains of the diphtheria bacteria do not secrete the toxin. And even if the strain does, it can only do so in a body that is depleted in iron.

Literature, public health reports, and news stories for over a century have noted that diphtheria becomes deadly in crowded and unsanitary the conditions. Even after a vaccine was developed, the association is still noted. One of the most well-known and oft-cited outbreaks of diphtheria in modern times happened in Russia in the 1990s. The population was highly vaccinated but also suffering social and political turmoil, which led to high rates of alcoholism and malnourishment, creating conditions where diphtheria could ignite and thrive in the population.

Do diseases disappear because of shots?

In the last decade, the U.S. reported seven cases of diphtheria to the World Health Organization. This is a stark contrast to the hundreds of thousands of cases described in medical literature, newspapers, and epidemiological reports from the early 1900s. This leaves one to wonder what caused the decline in diphtheria cases?

In the early 1900s, diphtheria was considered a leading cause of death in the U.S. and around the globe. Consideration of diphtheria and how to prevent it became part of a new international conversation. The rise in international trade by ship prompted some countries to decide it would be a good idea to have a global consensus on how to handle travel and trade that could spread disease. People were trying to understand how sickness happened, how it spread through communities, and how it could arise in different places around the earth. These International Sanitary Conferences, as they were called, were held from 1851 through 1938 and were the first step on a road to global health surveillance that is now being spearheaded by the World Health Organization.

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