The mother of a four-year-old boy in Southern Colorado who died of the flu Wednesday sought advice for “natural” remedies in an anti-vaccine Facebook group while he was ill, which included the use of elderberry, placing potatoes on the child’s forehead, and simply “eating lots of fruits and vegetables.”
In a Facebook group titled “Stop Mandatory Vaccination,” the mother initially posted about her other sons, one 10-month-old and one 5-year-old, who tested positive for the flu virus. She wrote in the group that doctors prescribed Tamiflu to the whole family to ensure the virus didn’t spread among them, but was urged by the anti-vax group members against using the drug.
The mother also noted that her 4-year-old son, the one who eventually died, had a 102-degree fever and had a febrile seizure.
“Yes it’s scary the doc told me to give my other two children and myself [Tamiflu] so we won’t get it,” the mother commented.
“You’re better off taking Vitamin D and C, Elderberry, Zinc, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables,” one commenter replied.
“Ok perfect I’ll try that,” the mother wrote back.
She wrote that she never picked up the Tamiflu, and that “they are making me feel bad” for not administering the antiviral drug to her child, although she doesn’t specify to whom she’s referring.
Another group member suggested putting sliced potatoes and cucumbers on the child’s forehead. Yet another suggested giving the child vitamin C until it caused diarrhea.
She also notes that none of the children received a flu shot.
The “Stop Mandatory Vaccination” Facebook group is run by anti-vaccine activist Larry Cook, a self-described “advocate for natural living” who aims to educate people about the “dangers of vaccination” and mobilize people against the “medical tyranny” of immunization policies, according to his website. The group has over 139,000 members.
Cook blamed the hospital for not offering “real treatments” to the boy.
“Mom says they were treated poorly by the hospital, and of course, never offered any real treatments that would have likely cured her boy,” he wrote on the page.
“EXACTLY!!” one commenter wrote in response. “You just have to nourish the body which hospitals do not do. They just poison.”
“100%,” Cook replied.
That hospital is apparently Children’s Hospital Colorado Springs, according to a GoFundMe page set up by the family.
All posts related to the incident have apparently been scrubbed by the Stop Mandatory Vaccination Facebook page.
The Colorado Times Recorder received screenshots of the Facebook posts from a source, and redacted the names of all individuals except for anti-vax group founder Larry Cook, who is a public figure.