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Deadends to Somewhere by Dr. Richard Ward

1 rating: 5.0
Learn about a successful vaccine which passed muster with the FDA and the World Health Organization
1 review about Deadends to Somewhere by Dr. Richard Ward

A Successful Life Story Worth Telling !

  • Dec 14, 2011
Dead Ends to Somewhere - The Story of a Vaccine to Save 500,000
Children Worldwide and the Reluctant Student Who Invented It is an
engaging story about the life and times of Dr. Richard Ward, a virologist who
progressed from an ordinary grammar school experience to be a
Virology Section Chief at the EPA in Cincinnati, Ohio with subsequent
research positions in Sandia and other research projects.

Times were hard in the early years. Richard's mother had practical
survival skills like soap production from pig fat and canning plant
food. Even the weather was severe. In Montana, there are 8 months
of winter. A stay at Montana State College cemented a budding
career in biochemistry. The next stop was a graduate program at
the University of California at Berkeley. After many tribulations,
Richard received an A- in biochemistry. 

An important initial research challenge was extracting Cesium-137
from nuclear waste for treatment aimed at inactivating human
viruses in sludge. Enteric viruses replicate in the intestine and are
released in feces to enter sewage. Polioviruses die during sludge
digestion in the absence of oxygen due to ammonia generated in
the digestive tract. The presence of rotavirus in sludge had major
significance if the waste product was used as fertilizer. Armed
with this knowledge, Dr. Richard Ward learned more about
irradiating sludge at Sandia. The novelty was the use of
radiation and heat during sludge treatment but there were
complications in the testing.

After much work, a Rotarix trial was conducted in 6 countries
in Europe. Nearly 4000 infants were administered two doses
of Rotarix. Two of the critical outcomes of this trial were that
the vaccine provided 96% protection against severe rotavirus
disease and 75% protection against hospital admissions due to
gastroenteritis of any cause. Contraindications should be
disclosed for all drugs, as well as inorganic additives.

By 2006, the World Health Organization (WHO)  recommended that
the vaccine be used widely throughout Latin America and
Europe. Ultimately, the FDA allowed use of the vaccine in
the United States.

WHO recommends that rotavirus vaccine for infants should be included
in all national immunization programmes. In countries where diarrheal deaths
account for 10% of mortality among children aged under 5 years, the introduction
of the vaccine is strongly recommended. WHO recommends that the first dose
of either RotaTeq or Rotarix be administered at age 6-15 weeks. The maximum age
for administering the last dose of either vaccine should be 32 weeks.  1)

1. http://www.who.int/immunization/topics/rotavirus/en/index.html

Credits: First Published on Blogcritics
A Successful Life Story Worth Telling !

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December 14, 2011
another interesting piece!
December 14, 2011
The book was very informative- especially in the areas of academe, drug approvals and the 8 months of winter in Montana.
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