Who among us has not read an article properly and then, without checking the source, shared it on social media, or told those around us about what they’ve read?

Statistically, one in five children believe everything they find on Google, which at first can sound humorous, but in actuality, is a concern for how we are educating our children to interpret news. Most people have experienced a situation during which they discover a piece of news which is then debunked by a more reliable source. If we follow this process for something as small as celebrity gossip, then why believe everything you read regarding medication and illness?

Expert knowledge

Doctors are the experts, and it is advisable to consider their advice as superior to your Google search. With at least nine years of training and qualifications, not including further training into a specialism, doctors have more than enough knowledge to provide guidance in medical situations.

In the digital age, it is very easy to create an article or blog without it needing to pass an editor or any stringent checks before going out to the world. Blogs and articles that scream ‘your doctor is lying to you!’ are unfortunately the ones that the public are listening to; ones that often don’t offer any real truth to back-up the claims they are making. With more and more people sharing news through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, users are hard-pressed to sort through the inaccurate and legitimate news. Even worse, clickbait articles are rife as internet hosts profit from fear mongering.

Impacts on society

This also raises issues about medical treatments and illness prevention, specifically looking at vaccinations regarding babies and children of all ages. Users not being able to decipher the certainty of articles has resulted in a measles outbreak in Leeds and Liverpool being investigated, over debates as to whether it was caused by parents not vaccinating their children.

Unfortunately, families seem to be becoming more likely to believe unproven facts, like vaccines being the cause of autism and various other ailments. This means, as shown in a 2016 study by the World Health Organisation, an approximate of 19.5 million infants worldwide haven’t been reached by standard vaccination procedures. Without these essential vaccinations, there are approximately two to three million additional deaths through illness and diseases.

With the NHS offering a trusted and thoroughly tested vaccination programme for those of all ages, there’s no need not to go to a clinic or even phone a doctor. Any questions or worries that you as a parent, or as a member of the community, might have about vaccinations or any other type of medical care can be resolved by a medically-trained professional.

Here at FluCamp, we conduct studies to research how the body reacts to common viruses like the cold, and use medical experts to support our work. The more knowledge and awareness we gain as a team, the closer we are to finding and conducting treatments that can be potentially life-saving – and ultimately eliminate common viral illnesses. To find out more about how you can help develop these treatments, read about taking part in our trails.

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