On Facebook, Anti-Vaxxers Urged A Mom Not To Give Her Son Tamiflu. He Later Died.

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In this day in age, Facebook has become somewhat of a ‘go-to’ in regards to getting health opinions and information — but that information is not always correct.

Many online groups that routinely traffic in anti-vaccination propaganda have become one of those resources that people use for health information.

On “Stop Mandatory Vaccination,” one of the largest known health misinformation groups with more than 139,000 members, people exchanged and offered advice for how to deal with the flu. Members of the group have previously spread conspiracies that outbreaks of preventable diseases are “hoaxes” created by the government, and then use the groups to mass-contact parents whose children have passed away and suggest without evidence that vaccines may be to blame.

A recent post to the group was from a mother of a 4-year-old boy from Colorado, who sadly passed away this past week. In the group, the mother had gathered information from group members on how to deal with the flu, admitting that she declined to fill prescriptions written by a doctor, for her son.

The mother wrote that the child had not been diagnosed yet, but had a high fever and even had a seizure. Although, two of her four children had been diagnosed with the flu at that time and the doctor had prescribed the antiviral Tamiflu for everyone in the household. As stated above, the prescription was never filled.

“The doc prescribed tamiflu I did not pick it up,” she wrote in a post to the group.

Tamiflu is one of the most popular and most effective medicines when battling the flu. However, the side effects are often toted as ‘bad’ and many anti-vaxxers urge people to not use the medication on their children.

This flu season has been incredibly bad. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the hospitalization rate of children has been much higher and 68 children have died from the flu this season.

Facebook groups like the one this mother was a part of, highlight’s a growing issue with misinformation on the web and social media platforms.

Out of the 45 comments on the mother’s Facebook post, not one suggested medical attention. The child was eventually hospitalized and died four days later, according to a GoFundMe started on his behalf by his family.

The mother’s recent posts have now been deleted from Stop Mandatory Vaccination.