Though, social media has brought people together and does too many great things, what it also does is that spread fake news like wild fire that people tend to believe.
Thanks to a growing movement, something called as anti-vaxxers have come into existence, in which people refuse to vaccinate their kids.
In one of the cases involving this anti-vaxxers’ kid who didn’t receive any immunisations – contracted the serious disease after getting a cut on his forehead while playing. Though, parents stitched the wound themselves, six days later boy experienced crying, jaw clenching and involuntary muscle spasms, followed by arching of the neck and back.
When the kid had difficulties in breathing, he was air transported to hospital where he was diagnosed with tetanus and had to ensure two months impatient care.
The case was intriguing for experts across the country, as tetanus was unheard of since the vaccines were made available to people in 1940s.
The boy almost died and incurred healthcare bill of nearly $812,000 (excluding air transportation, inpatient rehab and follow-up costs), the parents stuck to their weird belief and refused to get their kid a second dose of the tetanus vaccine after he received an emergency shot in hospital.
“When I read that, my jaw dropped,” said Dr William Schaffner, an expert in infectious diseases and chair at the department of preventive medicine at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee. “I could not believe it. That’s a tragedy and a misunderstanding and I’m just flabbergasted.
“This is an awful disease, but… we have had a mechanism to completely prevent it, and the reason that we have virtually no cases anymore in the United States is because we vaccinate, literally, everyone.”
The news of this case arrives just as lawmakers in Oregon and Washington are considering bills that would put a stop to anti-vax parents refusing vaccines for their kids because of non-medical reasons, as the Pacific Northwest has experienced an outbreak of measles in recent months. Many of the kids who contracted the highly contagious disease are reported to be unvaccinated.
On the topic of vaccinations, the World Health Organisation states: “Vaccine hesitancy – the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines – threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases.
“Vaccination is one of the most cost-effective ways of avoiding disease – it currently prevents 2-3 million deaths a year, and a further 1.5 million could be avoided if global coverage of vaccinations improved.”