An anti-vaccine advocate sparked a public outcry after claiming in a social media post she was planning to lace Halloween candy with a virus.
The gloating woman, who says she’s a registered nurse, according to Yahoo Now, bragged in a Facebook post about how she was going to taint Halloween candy with germs from her chickenpox-stricken child.
The Australian mom originally uploaded her brag, along with a picture of candy, to an anti-mandatory vaccine group on Facebook.
The post was captured and recirculated by Light for Riley, a page focused on spreading awareness about the dangers of the whooping cough.
In the original post, the anti-vaccine parent even offered to mail the germ-ridden candy to anyone who wanted it.
“We can confirm this has been reported to the hospital, [the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency] and Australia Post,” Light for Riley wrote in a comment.
While chickenpox is a harmless rite of childhood for many, it can be deadly for some.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the disease kills roughly one person out of every 60,000 it infects.
Infants, the elderly and those who already have serious illnesses are most at risk.
Citing a spokesperson for Queensland Health, which is in charge of staffing for hospitals in Brisbane — the Australian state where the woman claims to be a nurse — news.com.au reported that she appears to have been lying about her profession.
The Australian news site also reported police were investigating the woman’s post.
“Queensland Health also confirmed the risk of chicken pox transmission from the lollipops would be extremely low,” the outlet added.
Of course, that doesn’t make what this woman did — or threatened to do — right.
Despite vaccines’ proven track record, media and misinformation have swayed many into abandoning the common health practice.
Some parents keep their children from one or many vaccines because of their supposed connection to things like autism.
A surge in the anti-vaccine movement’s popularity does not come without a price, however.
In the United States, measles cases recently hit a 25-year high after parts of New York City hit with the disease.
Parents who refused to vaccinate their children helped spread the disease, as their children’s bodies were unable to fight it off.
Previously, measles was in a major decline thanks to a vaccination campaign.
Campaigns like that one, intended to defeat measles, have enjoyed enormous success in America and around the world.
For instance, smallpox — a gruesome disease that killed hundreds of millions of people throughout human history — was nearly wiped off the face of the Earth.
That was thanks to doctors and missionaries who spread the smallpox vaccine to the farthest corners of the world.
The virus that once threatened the world’s health now mainly exists in a few laboratories.
While it’s unclear whether anti-vaxxer’s Facebook post was serious or made in jest, it highlights a serious threat to public health, upending decades of work aimed at destroying viruses for good.
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