Nearly 50 years on from the vaccine and the debate continues to exist
It all started when Autumn Dayss posted a picture of her last-minute Halloween costume idea which featured a tiny skeleton in a baby carrier. The caption read: “Going to a costume party tonight as Karen and her non-vaccinated child,” implying that non-vaccinated children were likely to be dead due to pathogens. The post soon went viral garnering over 40K reactions at 130K shares. However, it did go on to trigger some from the anti-vax community.
Health.com reported that a commentator Heather Simpson reacted to the post with a photo of her own where her entire body was covered in red dots. She wrote on the post: “Was trying to think of the least scary thing I could be for Halloween. So I became the measles.” Just to shed some scientific light on the issue, we know that measles is a highly contagious viral infection that typically causes a severe flu-like illness accompanied by a visible rash. A subsequent Reddit post was also made in the sub-reddit r/insanepeoplefacebook which also received over 40K upvotes.
According to the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), complications occur in 3 in 10 who get measles and young children are especially vulnerable. “Ear infections and diarrhea are most common, but 1 in 20 will get pneumonia,” the organization wrote. “1 in 1,000 will have brain swelling that can cause deafness and intellectual disability, and 1 or 2 in 1,000 will die." The vaccine for the virus was made available to the public in 1963 and until then, it was common knowledge that nearly every child would get it by the time they were 15 years old. "The disease sickened 3 to 4 million people and led to about 500 deaths and 48,000 hospitalizations every year.”
Measles is a highly contagious viral disease, that can cause severe complications and affect all countries and age groups.— BactiVax (@BactiVax) May 2, 2020
Despite the availability of a safe and effective #vaccine, more than 140 000 people died from measles in 2018.#VaccinesWork @REA_research @mcclean_siobhan pic.twitter.com/2E1WrTC9YM
A medical professional duly then made this point clear to Simpson and educated her about the seriousness of the disease by commenting on her picture. Simpson was also called a “horrible person and possibly a sociopath.” “How I wish children suffering in the infectious ward could dress as ‘fake diseases’ for Halloween like the privileged idiots who put them there,” the medical professional wrote.
Several users also criticized Simpson for her insensitivity in the face of a serious illness. She then went on to post an update later on which more or less was an apology. She made it clear that she did not post it to mock those who have actually had the disease but also went on to state that it's not something to be afraid of. She went on to defend her stance on the vaccine argument and made certain claims. “I always thought anti-vaxxers laid on the premise that there’s no reason to get vaccinated because they are ‘bad’ and the chances of getting one of the diseases is so low, that they'll chance their child getting sick,” one wrote. “I never thought that they actually believe that these aren't actually deadly diseases that kill children."