Thursday, November 3, 2011

Salk, Cancer & Travers Abeys Himself

Before discovering the polio vaccine, Jonas Salk spent nearly 5 years at the University of Michigan between 1942 and 1947. Assisting his mentor, virologist Thomas Francis, they discovered the first influenza vaccine during that time. The Armed Forces Epidemiological Board had chosen Francis, who first discovered the Influenza B strain, to come up with a vaccine for use in the military during the War and he didn't disappoint.

The team of doctors tested the vaccine on patients at both the Ypsilanti State Hospital and the Eloise Infirmary at different stages in the process. At the time medical testing on humans with less than full rights, such as mental patients and prison inmates, wasn't seen as unethical. The tests carried out at the mental institutions weren't exactly fool proof though as some patients were unable to explain their symptoms in a coherent manner which could have potentially caused an epidemic if the results were skewed.

After leaving the University to run his own laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, Salk would return to Michigan in 1955 where Dr. Francis announced to the world the discovery of the Polio vaccine by his protegee. Salk was celebrated as a national hero as the epidemic wound down to a controllable number of affected patients just a few years later.

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The Palm Beach Post, December 28, 1983
Well this is an interesting story except that I can't figure out just where this subdivision is. Not that it matters since Wayne County General Hospital admitted burying toxic waste at the site and it's public knowledge that an open drain also ran from the Eloise farm into the affected Gloria Acres subdivision.

The 44 cancer incidents recorded in the 52 home subdivision is beyond alarming and perhaps that had something to do with the hospital being ignored as both a valuable county asset as well as prime property for resale. Add to that the incident of 1977 where a boy received chemical burns from a vial of toxins he found in the area and the area is pretty much considered poison for consumer re-use.

I can't find much information on it's most likely a reasonable cause and effect scenario. Either way, not very eco-friendly or nice, Eloise!

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This is one of the strangest stories ever and if not for a battle of judges Edmund Traver would have graced the walls of Eloise. It seems that young sweethearts named Myrtle Cramer, 18, of Grand Ledge and Edmund Traver, 22, of Detroit had a different way of expressing their amorous feelings than other lovebirds of their generation. Cramer having submitted to previous attempts to be murdered by Traver via strangulation and the slitting of her wrist, was shot in the head by her lover in the early morning hours of December 28, 1897. Traver then turned the gun on himself and fired a shot into his own "brain." By luck or skilled marksmanship to injure but not kill the two survived the shootings and mysteriously waited until late afternoon of the same day to go to a drug store and call for an ambulance.

Traver, though expected to die, recovered enough to be put on trial despite the fact that both had accused the other of pulling the trigger. After being deemed criminally insane Traver was ordered by Judge Durfee, of the Probate Court, to be sent to Eloise. However, Judge Chapin of Recorder's Court ruled that he should be sent to Ionia State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and apparently he won out in the jurisdiction debate as Traver was sent there on March 11, 1898 after being incarcerated at the Wayne County jail after the assault.

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