Fake news has been lamented, scorned, or poked fun at for various reasons and from various political perspectives for the past year, but right now a fake news story circulating on social media could put lives in danger. First appearing on Facebook, the “article” falsely claims that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention acknowledged that influenza vaccine has been responsible for many deaths attributed to flu this year. The myth-busting website Snopes debunked the post soon after it first appeared—but that hasn’t stopped it from circulating. Urgent care providers should be aware of the report, and the fact that it is false, in case patients bring it up or attribute reluctance to get a flu shot to the hoax. While the flu season has passed the halfway point, patients continue to get sick and die across the country. The most recent CDC data show that 30 children have died from flu this season. To be clear, the CDC still recommends vaccination as the best way to avoid getting the flu and there is no truth to the notion that the vaccine has put patients in jeopardy.
Dangerous Fake News Story Spreads Flu Misinformation on Social Media