A Facebook Group is using the current measles outbreak in Washington to push the sale of a book about vaccines and offering dangerous medical advice to parents. Stop Mandatory Vaccination shared an update to the group yesterday in an attempt to calm the fears of nervous parents. However, the linked video provides propaganda about measles and incorrectly calls the virus a “benign” childhood illness.
Group founder Larry Cook shared the update yesterday evening in response to the outbreak. In the post, Larry reminds parents that they should not be afraid of the measles.
He uses the post as an opportunity to direct members to his website. Additionally, he states he is starting a GoFundMe to help “reach” parents in Washington state.
Below the post, he includes a link to a video on his website. The video contains interviews by two naturopathic “doctors” that provide their ‘expertise’ on the measles. Naturopaths are not medical doctors. In some states, naturopaths are restricted from prescribing medication.
“Dr” Judith Thompson starts the video by telling parents not to fear the measles. Thompson says the measles is a benign illness that rarely has any dangerous side effects. She says most children will have a rash, fever, and have a sensitivity to light for a week.
She says that children only develop complications in rare instances. Thompson says rare complications include diarrhea, pneumonia, and ear infections.
Unfortunately, the information contradicts data supplied by the Centers for Disease Control on complications associated with the measles. 30% of all patients that contract the measles will develop one or more complication.
According to the CDC, common side effects of measles include diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia.
– 1 in 10 children will develop an ear infection,
-8% develop diarrhea,
-1 in 20 will develop pneumonia.
Pneumonia accounts for 60% of all reported deaths associated with the measles.
If ear infections are left untreated, permanent hearing loss can develop from the measles. Children can also become permanently blind from the virus.
In severe cases, the virus will attack the cornea and scar the tissue. The World Health Organization lists measles as one of the top contributors to childhood blindness in the world. In some children, the measles causes severe Vitamin A deficiency. Without high doses of IV Vitamin A to increase the body’s vitamin level, children can become blind.
The naturopath asserts that most children will be able to ride the virus at home without any medical help. Again, this information contradicts data provided by the CDC. The CDC reports that 1 in 4 people with the measles requires hospitalization in the United States.
In the most severe cases, about 2 out of every 1000 cases, someone will die from the measles. Children under 12 months old, pregnant women, and individuals at high risk of complications are the most likely to suffer a severe case.
After Thompson gives her speech about the ‘benign’ childhood disease, ‘Dr’ Eli Camp shares remedies for the measles. She suggests using herbs, vitamins, and homeopathy to treat the virus. For children that have fevers, Camp suggests letting the child ‘ride out’ the fever.Again, the information provided by Camp contradicts recommendations made by the medical community. The Mayo Clinic recommends the use of fever-reducing medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
For pregnant women and babies, Mayo recommends seeking treatment as soon as they have been exposed to the virus. Immune serum globulin or protein antibodies can help reduce the severity of the illness and in some cases prevent the measles altogether.
Additionally, individuals exposed to the measles can receive a vaccination within 72 hours of exposure. If the vaccinated individual contracts the virus, their symptoms are often milder.
The only accurate information provided by the doctor is the administration of high-dose Vitamin A treatment in some measles patients. However, Vitamin A is only given in children that have low levels of the vitamin in their bodies.
Not all children will be Vitamin A deficient. Additionally, the treatment requires a doctor to administer the vitamin through an IV treatment.
At the end of the video, Camp reminds parents that after having the virus children are 100% immune to the virus. She believes natural immunity is the best form of immunity. She says vaccines do not provide lifetime immunity. However, if a person receives two MMR vaccinations, they are immune to the virus.
Finally, Camp uses the remaining time to advertise a book called the “Unvaccinated Child: A treatment guide for Parents and Caregivers.”
Vaccines are still the lowest risk option to prevent a child from developing the measles. The vaccine provides immunity to the child without contracting the disease. Unvaccinated children that contract the measles are vulnerable to developing severe and life-threatening complications.
As always, Facebook continues to offer a vehicle to groups that promote unscientific medical advice that goes against the CDC, WHO, and all major medical organizations.
Stop Mandatory Vaccination group contains 152,000 people that are influenced by the content posted by administrators. Without Facebook, the group would not have the ability to reach so many vulnerable and scared parents.
*Katie Joy is a columnist and hosts Without A Crystal Ball on Patheos Non-Religious Channel. She writes articles on parenting, disability advocacy, debunking pseudoscience, atheism, and crimes against women and children.
She co-hosts the YouTube show, “The Smoking Nun,” with Kyle Curtis. The show airs weekly and tackles pseudoscience, current events, and crime stories.
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