UK Health Service Chief says "False news" on social media contributes to increase in Measles cases

Opponents of efforts to remove philosophical exceptions to school-vaccine rally requirements outside the Washington Capitol, in Olympia, Wash., Wednesday, February 20, 201[ads1]9.
Photo: Rachel La Corte (AP)

NHS England's chief Simon Stevens is among the many officials who publicly address the wave of social media, spreading dangerous misinformation about vaccinations among ongoing preventative outbreaks.

Speaking on a health stop on Friday, Stevens YouTube said as well as Facebook-owned Instagram and WhatsApp As among the platforms that anti-growers spread, he said "false news" about vaccines, CNN reported Saturday. Stevens said that England "said more than tripled the number of measles cases" than it did in the previous year, and "despite the fact that it seems clear vaccination," said CNN:

Stevens that the discussions in the body of health have focused on how to buckle The spread of anti-vaccination ideas on Instagram and YouTube, and referred to a parent at her daughter's primary school who had used WhatsApp to express concern that children's immune system was "loaded up" with vaccines.

Like England, the United States is currently struggling with its own measles crisis that health professionals and politicians have partially attributed to social media misinformation. Last year, YouTube drew ads from anti-vaccination videos after a report from BuzzFeed News on the issue and among advertisers' setbacks. The Google-owned platform told Gizmodo in a statement as it had "strict guidelines that govern which videos we allow ads to appear on, and videos that promote anti-vaccination content violate these guidelines."

On Friday, representative Adam Schiff in an open letter called Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to put an end to the promotion of anti-adult content on his e-commerce and streaming platform. The site seemed to pull out anti-vaccination content from Prime Video and some search results on Friday, although it was still difficult to buy copies.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, at least 159 cases of measles have been confirmed across 10 states from the beginning of 2019 to 21 February, but this figure is probably higher given the tip in confirmed cases in the Washington State alone since that date . From Saturday, the state's Clark County Public Health confirmed 70 cases of measles in the county's ongoing outbreak. In at least 61 of those cases, the affected person had not received measles, cream and rubella vaccine.

"The scientific and medical community is in overwhelming consensus that vaccines are both effective and safe," Schiff wrote in his open letter on Friday. "There is no evidence that vaccines cause life-threatening or debilitating diseases, and the dissemination of unfounded and debunked theories of the dangers of vaccinations poses a major risk to public health."

Stevens made similar remarks during the summit, according to CNN. The CEO said that the situation in England "is not being helped on this side by the fact that while nine out of 10 parents support vaccination, half say they have seen false reports of vaccination on social media."


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