Poliomyelitis existed before the onset of artificial electromagnetic waves but was rare and non-epidemic.  Poliomyelitis reacted immediately to the onset of wireless telegraphy and even to preliminary experimentations. It is particularly instructive to see that epidemic Poliomyelitis, which had been absent from Italy since the Calzecchi-Onesti experiments, re-appeared following Marconi’s experiments in 1895 and followed him to England in 1896, to make a come-back in Italy with Marconi’s temporary return in 1897, and appeared in Germany (where it had been absent since the end of Hertz’s experiments) in 1898 following Slaby who had been in England in 1897 to learn about Marconi’s devices and who then developed wireless telegraphy in Germany.

wire telegraphy
Epidemic Poliomyelitis, number of cases, Italy, Engrland and Germany, 1868-1904

In this period, poliomyelitis outbreaks were small. Importantly, they often occurred hundreds of km from the source of electromagnetic waves, so that the power of the electromagnetic wave was excessively low. Yet, they were in remarkably good synchronism with changes in exposure to electromagnetic waves.


Italy, England and Germany are of interest because they hosted the initial developments of wireless telegraphy, but the country which was by far most strongly affected by Poliomyelitis  is Sweden/Norway.  Outbreaks in Sweden/Norway were synchronized to local changes in wireless telephony and wire telegraphy. This synchronization was highly significant and cannot reasonably have been due to chance (this is discussed on a mathematical basis in the corresponding scientific paper). Note the difference in scale between the graphs.

Poliomyelitis Epidemics in Sweden-Norway, number of cases, 1868-1904


Sweden-Norway 2
Poliomyelitis epidemics, Sweden-Norway, number of cases, 1902-1911

Merely on the basis of these coincidences, it is almost certain that outbreaks of epidemic Poliomyelitis were triggered by changes in Wireless Telegraphy and most likely wire telephony.

The transition from these significant but temporary epidemics to a yearly epidemic took place in the United States in 1907 following the introduction of wireless voice transmissions, which have different signal characteristics (including a higher bandwidth required to maximize impact on the immune system) as compared to wireless telegraphy.

Interestingly, exposure to electromagnetic waves did not only cause immediate outbreaks of epidemic Poliomyelitis: it also caused the diversification of Poliovirus. Experimental and historical evidence shows that in 1875 the only Poliovirus was PV3, which then diversified into the two other known Polioviruses PV2 and PV1 and into Cocksackieviruses CVA20 and CVA21 (and probably most if not all group C enteroviruses).

In short:

– Poliomyelitis (i.e. Poliovirus and the immune reaction against Poliovirus)  had a pre-existing sensitivity to electromagnetic waves, including at very low power.

– Further,  exposure to electromagnetic waves caused Poliovirus to diversify into other viruses with better capacities to survive in the modified environment.


To understand full details, you may download the following paper:

paper full

Did Wired and Wireless Telegraphy and Telephony cause the emergence of epidemic Poliomyelitis ?


Absent a scientific consensus – the issue being dealt with only on this web site – the reader is invited to make up his mind on the basis or the arguments presented herein. This should be made easier by the fact that with respect to the existence of a link between Poliomyelitis and radio-frequency exposure, the argument relies essentially on a straightforwward analysis of coincidences.

The physicist reader will surely notice that the observations concerning Poliomyelitis raise fundamental issues and bring about much factual informations connected to the physics of the observed phenomenon. This is an incitation to further improve our understanding of the underlying physics.  It is also a warning against an oversimplification which could lead us to ignore fundamental aspects of exposure to electromagnetic fields.