Health News Coverage Needs to Be Better
Many times, health and medical news are confusing and at other times they are downright scary. A story or a study can make it sound like your next viral infomercial, but they are still newsworthy. A story or a study can make it sound like your next big breakthrough in health and medical technology. But how accurate are they?
It’s hard to tell if a news story is completely bogus, or if it’s true. This is because many things that look like a breakthrough or a new discovery turn out to be false. Just recently, for instance, a Chinese study claimed that a vaccine for HPV could prevent the virus from causing genital warts. The study was largely publicized by various health experts and news agencies around the globe, but the research has since been discredited and China has not released any final findings.
Now, let’s think about this: What kind of news report would claim that a new vaccine would prevent all sexually transmitted diseases? It sounds way too good to be true, doesn’t it? But this is actually what some news reporters and tabloids are saying about a new vaccine called C Covid-19. It’s being hailed as the “covid-19 vaccine,” which sounds a lot more benign than “cancer vaccine.”
A couple of weeks ago, a news story mentioned C Covid-19 and was carried on Fox News. It began with a frightening story about a young girl who contracted Ebola from a touched object. “Covid-19” is the name of the vaccine. It was later revealed that the girl was infected with another strain of the Ebola virus, but was protected by a previous treatment. This case is currently being investigated, but so far no one has reported any cases of patients contracting the Ebola virus in contact with C Covid-19.
The problem is that this particular news story was meant to scare people. In order to sell readers on the need for these vaccines, media outlets often “promote” bad news. As if to say, “If you don’t use this vaccine, your child can get potentially fatal diseases.” In some cases, journalists have actually carried the news only after a tragic accident where a toddler was severely sickened after coming into contact with one of these vaccines.
Other examples of bad health news include the recent recall of some seasonal flu vaccines, because of a small percentage of individuals getting the virus. There was even a news report about a man who died from the Lassa fever, the disease caused by a Lassa virus that was contained in these vaccines. These stories are not just flat out wrong, they’re dangerous misinformation, being spread by those who are supposed to be providing information on the health of our children.
Health issues are complex. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. However, it is up to journalists and reporters to hold companies and other sources accountable when it comes to reporting bad health news. This includes misinforming the public through stories that misinforming them about the dangers of various products and diseases. We deserve better than this.
We are all concerned about your health, whether you’re an adult or a child. So, be sure to watch out for news reports about anything that may potentially affect you or your family. Take the time to learn as much as you can, and trust your doctor and other healthcare professionals to get you the best care for you. Your body needs to stay healthy, so don’t get caught up in hype and half-truths when it comes to your health. Get real facts when it comes to health, instead of media hype.