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Bedbugs, Forgotten history and Smallpox
Smallpox News with warning
Dear Members and Friends - Many of you have asked me for more evidence on the bedbug theory of smallpox. So far, we have not found any other sources besides Cash Asher's book, Bacteria, Inc.

The following was sent to me by Susan Pearce, director of the Wyoming Vaccination Information Network after reading the Summer 2002 VacLib Letter. Walene's short piece in the VacLib Letter is reprinted below. Please remember that mattresses back then were "straw-tick" mattresses and provided a breeding ground for "bedbugs".

From Susan: This is an excerpt from a book ...

"Somewhere around this time, we all sickened and Mother knew what was wrong. She had been nursing the neighbors, the Webbers; they were all down in bed and she was sure they had Smallpox. She had carried it home to us, but luckily she had had it as a child and could care for us. Doctors today deplore Folk Medicine, but she gave us Sweet Spirits of Nitre for the fever and baking soda sponges for the itching, and it did help."

"Dr. Blake came down from Buffalo to see us. He was the Health Officer and someone had reported we were all sick; we didn't send for him. We were afraid of him, particularly Lee and me. He talked to Lee gently and coaxed him onto his lap. "Now show me your biggest smallpox sore," he said. Lee opened his pajamas and, exposed himself, he sobbed, "See Doc, it's right on the end of my wetter." Mother was beet red, and started to apologize, but the good doctor waved her away and talked on with Lee, telling him not to scratch and it would be better tomorrow. More laughs."

"Before we could take down the quarantine sign, we had to fumigate according to directions. Dr. Blake left Formaldehyde, which was to be put in a boiler of boiling water and left to boil as long as the fire held. This was some process, but guess what it did to the bedbugs?! They either died or left, for we never saw another one." [Emphasis mine]

This was about 1914. Lee was about four years old. The author, Helena (Betty) Thomas Rubottom, was about six. The family lived near Kaycee, WY, which is near the place my mom was born and raised, which is why I was reading it to her.

The excerpt is from Helena Rubottom's book called Red Walls and Homesteads, Edited and published by Margaret Brock Hanson, Mayoworth Route, Kaycee, Wyoming, copyright 1987 Helena Thomas Rubottom. All Rights Reserved. Library of Congress Catalog Card No. 86-91878. ISBN 0-9605834-3-2. Designed and Manufactured by Frontier Printing, Inc., Cheyenne, WY.

Susan Pearce

Who was Dr. Charles Campbell? Why has modern organized medicine forgotten his work?

History has conveniently forgotten Bechamp who proved that dis-ease causes germs while deifying Pasteur, the father of the pharmaceutical age, for errantly convincing the world that germs cause disease. Similarly, we have been taught since kindergarten to revere Thomas Edison for giving us electricity and lightbulbs when the work of his contemporary and nemesis Nicola Tesla could have given free energy to the world. If Dr. Campbell and his work were common knowledge today, people would view the Bush administration's plan to vaccinate every man, woman and child in America against smallpox as the most medically illogical public health policy since blood letting.

Around 1900, the cause and control of two life threatening diseases was discovered, each by two distinguished medical doctors. One is famous. His name is in encyclopedias and textbooks. About 60 years ago, a movie heralding his discovery was made and a hospital was named after him. The other doctor is practically unknown. I know of only one book written about his discovery and that, as far as I know, is out-of-print. In my opinion, his contribution was the more remarkable because he discovered the cause and cure of a disfiguring disease that has plagued mankind for thousands of years.

Doctor #1: Walter Reed Walter Reed is the doctor first mentioned and the hospital named after him is the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. In 1900, he headed a commission to investigate the cause of yellow fever, which, along with malaria, was the main obstacle to completing the work on the Panama Canal. He and a medical staff carried on a series of experiments involving several doctors as well as a number of soldiers who volunteered to be infected by the yellow fever virus. Two died as a result, but the experiments established that the Aedes aegypti mosquito transmits yellow fever. Walter Reed and his team said that the best control was to kill the mosquitoes.

However, isn't it better to eliminate the conditions that create a disease, rather than merely controlling it? In 1904, army surgeon William Crawford Gorgas was sent to Panama where he instituted sanitary reforms, cut back the brush and drained the swamps which were the breeding grounds of the mosquito. In two years he succeeded in eliminating yellow fever from the canal region. Outbreaks of malaria, a disease that was transmitted by the anopheles mosquito, was also brought under control using Dr. Gorgas' methods.

Doctor #2: Charles A.R. Campbell The second doctor, Charles A. R. Campbell, discovered the cause and cure of smallpox. Through a series of carefully controlled experiments (even using himself as a subject) Dr. Campbell, along with Dr. J. A. Watts, discovered that smallpox, like yellow fever and malaria, was transmitted by an insect, cimex lectularius (Latin for bedbug). They also discovered that the disease was neither contagious nor infectious and that vaccinations did not prevent it.

Even more importantly, Dr. Campbell discovered that the severity of the disease was directly proportional to the general ill health and malnutrition of the patient. He spoke of "scorbutic cachexia" and related it to scurvy, the "disease caused by lack of green food." He said, "the removal of this perversion of nutrition will so mitigate the virulence of this malady as to positively prevent the pitting or pocking of smallpox." (Bacteria, Inc., Cash Asher, Bruce Humphries, Inc., Boston, MA, 1949).

Even though Drs. Campbell and Watts and possibly others tried to publish their findings their work was ignored. However, it was Dr. Campbell who first called attention to the bedbug as the carrier of smallpox. I might mention that Dr. Campbell was recognized as an outstanding scientist of his generation, even being nominated for the Nobel Prize for his work on the value of bats as mosquito eradicators. Today he is all but forgotten. Few have heard of him and now smallpox is considered highly contagious and dangerous with no known cure.

Why is one doctor honored and the other ignored? When cimex lectularius was exposed as the carrier of smallpox, the manufacturing of serums had grown into a profitable industry and smallpox vaccinations had become a lucrative part of medical practice. The vaccination of every child had become an established practice. Many states had laws making vaccinations compulsory for school entrance requirements. When the cause and control of yellow fever was discovered, the vaccine for it had not been developed (It was developed in 1937).

Perhaps even more economically threatening was Dr. Campbell's assertion that a change in diet, not drugs or vaccines, could prevent the pocking or pitting of smallpox, even mitigating the severity of the disease.

For your consideration: Do economics ameliorate the conditions conducive to human suffering? Is history written by those in power to reinforce their position of power? Do you think this brief description of two different outcomes for two discoveries made about the same time is an isolated example?

For further research: Could the nutritional principal discovered by Dr. Campbell be applied to other insect-borne diseases, thus mitigating their severity?

Walene James US decision on smallpox shots seen in days

Last Updated: 2002-07-26 10:00:53 -0400 (Reuters Health)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - US officials are putting the final touches on a strategy to combat smallpox in case of a biological attack and promised on Thursday to deliver a plan in a few days or 2 weeks at most.

They are weighing the risks of vaccinating large numbers of people with a vaccine that is relatively dangerous, versus the theoretical but serious danger of a biological attack.

They also worry that legal action may result if people develop complications as a result of smallpox vaccinations.

"The threat of smallpox is small, but it's not zero,'' said Dr. Donald Henderson, a chief adviser to the federal government on bioterrorism. "If indeed smallpox were to be released, it would be very serious...potentially a global catastrophe.''

There is no question of vaccinating the general population. Rather, health experts are trying to decide whether emergency department workers, firefighters and others who may have to help in case of an attack or outbreak should get immunizations.

And if so, the question is how many of them, and where, and whether family members should also be vaccinated. Then the government is dealing with the question of what kind of action to take should there be an outbreak.

"We will have a policy in days, or 2 weeks at the most,'' Henderson told a briefing for legislative and other staff sponsored by the Alliance for Health Reform, a nonprofit group that runs forums on health policy.

Smallpox was declared eradicated worldwide in 1980 and routine vaccination stopped in the United States in 1972. Most, if not all, of the population is considered vulnerable.

The former Soviet Union is known to have experimented with smallpox as a potential biological weapon, and the fear is that extremists or even governments may be planning to use it.

Smallpox covers its victims with pustules and one third of patients die. It is a prime candidate for use as a biological weapon.

The Health and Human Services Department and the White House are considering recommendations made by experts who were studying the issue even before the September 11 attacks and the anthrax-laced letters in October that killed five people in the US.

But it takes years to develop a new vaccine and the United States is stuck with 77 million doses of the old DryVax vaccine and 75 million doses of vaccine that maker Aventis Pasteur had in its freezers and donated.

By the end of the year, 209 million more doses based on the old formula but made under cleaner laboratory conditions should be available. But it may not be any safer.

"Smallpox vaccine is probably the least safe human vaccine,'' Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told the briefing.

Complications include a skin infection called eczema vaccinatum. People with eczema who touch a recently vaccinated person can develop this potentially fatal complication.

HIV infections, cancer treatments that can suppress the immune system, and people with transplanted organs all are more susceptible to complications from smallpox vaccines.

That raises the question of lawsuits, and Henderson said his team is thinking seriously about that.

"To me, it looks like this is going to be a great place for a trial lawyer to go to make a lot of money,'' Tennessee Republican Senator Bill Frist, a doctor, told the briefing.


Study Tests Defrosted Smallpox Vaccine, Just in Case


NASHVILLE, Oct. 9 — Jesse Grey, a 24-year-old graduate student in chemistry at Vanderbilt University, rolled up his sleeve today, and Dr. Kathryn Edwards scrubbed his upper arm with a gauze pad soaked in acetone.

Then she unwrapped a fine needle with two tiny prongs on one end and dipped it into a vial of greenish liquid, swished it around and caught a drop between the prongs. Gently, she rubbed the liquid onto a dime-size area on Mr. Grey's arm. Not so gently, she jabbed the area 15 times, counting each jab out loud.

She had just vaccinated Mr. Grey against smallpox. It was the first day of a government-sponsored test of smallpox vaccine, one in a series of studies that began earlier this year, provoked by fears that terrorists or a hostile country like Iraq has stocks of the smallpox virus and might use it as a weapon. Given the potential threat, many health officials say the United States, which ended routine smallpox vaccination in 1972, must be ready to start it again.

"I feel like I'm part of a frontier, stepping into a new era," Mr. Grey said. "Especially after 9/11. It's for the betterment of the United States, and the world perhaps."

Healthy young men and women, including other graduate students like Mr. Grey and some health workers who expected to be called on to vaccinate others, waited their turns at the clinic. Fourteen were scheduled for the first day of the study. Many of the volunteers, like Mr. Grey, said part of their reason for participating was simply to help researchers find out the best way to use the nation's stockpile of vaccine, which has been frozen for decades. A few volunteers said they were also lured by the $300 they would be paid to complete the study. One said it would not hurt to be vaccinated "just in case."

The United States stopped smallpox vaccinations in 1972 because the disease had been wiped out in the Americas. Globally, it was eradicated in 1980, and most other countries also stopped vaccinating. An important part of the reason that countries willingly gave up vaccination once the disease was no longer a real threat is that the smallpox vaccine, more than any other vaccine, carries a significant risk of serious complications.

For every million people vaccinate, 1 or 2 die, 15 suffer life-threatening complications and hundreds of others have serious skin rashes, infections or other problems.

By the end of this month, Dr. Edwards and her team at Vanderbilt hope to have vaccinated 150 volunteers from 18 to 32 years old, people who have never received the smallpox vaccine before. The Vanderbilt study is part of a larger one, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, to include 150 volunteers from each the University of Iowa and the University of Cincinnati.

The purpose of the study is to test the safety and effectiveness of a smallpox vaccine, made by Aventis Pasteur, that has been frozen since the 1970's. From 70 million to 90 million doses of the vaccine are now available, and the new study will also help determine how much those doses can be diluted to stretch the supply. Volunteers in the study will receive the vaccine in one of three forms: full strength, or diluted 1 to 5 or 1 to 10 in strength.

Over two months, researchers will gauge the effectiveness of the vaccine by assessing sores and scabs at the vaccination site, a sign that the vaccination has worked. They will also measure antibody levels in the volunteers' blood at several intervals after the vaccinations.

The researchers at Vanderbilt hope to have results to report to the national institutes by Christmas.

Similar studies earlier this year found that the Aventis Pasteur vaccine and another one, Dryvax, made by Wyeth, had retained their potency despite being stored for so many years. But if diluted too much they lose effectiveness, and further studies are needed to find out the best way to use them.

The earlier studies also found that 20 percent to 30 percent of the people who were vaccinated became sick enough with fever and aches and pains to miss several days of work or school. All recovered.