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Plague to Polio in Ireland and Beyond: Don't Count Your Children 'til they've Had the Pox

...Becoming Ancestrally Immune to Dying from Once Deadlier Contagions?       
Polio, the Middle-Class disease reveals something rather surprising about our relationship to the bugs. For instance, when we drill down to historical detail, from the Great Plague of the Middle Ages to the lesser crippling plague of our modern era: Polio, apparently, no amount of cleaning up flea-infested rodent heaps, mending old leaking sewage pipes, delousing, or keeping Typhoid Mary away from your kitchen, could possibly account for the greater population statistics from across our now modernised nations that unambiguously illustrate a near-universal plummeting of  deaths from some of the deadliest contagions known to humankind. Nor, was this most welcomed resolution of these rather nastier (communicable) infectious diseases due to any particular efforts on our part, as deaths declined well before, in the absence of, and often, to spite our best efforts to intervene (medically, hygienically or, otherwise).

   Instead, we appear to have become ancestrally immune due to what could be described as a type of natural generational immunising effect that is fully dependent upon natural exposure to the real bugs and the more exposed, the better. Hence, the title of this book: 'Don't Count Your Children 'til they've had the Pox', as in many ways it may be argued, if our forebears didn't have the Pox and just about everything else as children, then, their offspring, that is most of us, wouldn't be here to tell their tale.

   In the end, and as tragic as it was for our ancestors, we appear to be the beneficiaries of this great gift of robust resilience against a whole plethora of pathogens that once plagued our nations emerging into modernity, and as this is seemingly a fully biological phenomenon dependent upon the level of familiarity with the bugs, currently modernising nations should soon follow suit.

   All in all, this study establishes, both historically and scientifically, that we may have seriously misunderstood the bugs (the germs as it relates to Germ Theory - i.e. pathogens are always pathogens and should be obliterated if at all possible) and us as their natural hosts. This, therefore, has implications regarding our approach to modern medicine and our public health policies regarding efforts to control, eradicate and generally do battle with the bugs.  Instead, this present study argues quite the opposite and suggests that it may have been more prudent to keep our old microbial friends close, and our old microbial enemies closer still.

It is hoped that this discussion will act as a roadmap for a more optimistic future and go some way to restoring our faith in Mother Nature.

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