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Texas Nurse Fired over Measles Post

Measles flintstonesNOTE:  Last week a local Facebook group Mom posted a photo of her son's peeling, red feet, asking a large group of local Moms "What is this?"  They all chimed in - "COXSACKIE!" And then they offered her sympathy, recommended quarantine ideas, and generally supported her, saying they too had dealt with this common childhood disease.  It was a nice display of Moms supporting Moms.  Had she said, "What is this?" and there were spots all over his face, the response would have been different. "Measles!" And panic, blame and shame may well have been the follow up, instead of the same advice about quarantine and managing discomfort. Measles means BAD MOM. Coxsackie does not. Why? Because there is a vaccine for Measles, formerly a common childhood illness that bonded Moms in coffee klatches and Tupperware parties.   Need proof? Look at this article - there's NO mention that measles is deadly. It's generally not to a healthy child. In fact it was sitcom fodder for decades, from the Flintstones to the Brady Bunch.  "Measles is such a concern, because one, it's preventable. We have a vaccination that can prevent it," Dr. Umair Shah, executive director of the Harris County, Texas, Health System, told KTRK. "And two, it's so easily transmittable to someone else. ... Vaccines save lives.” 

Texas nurse fired after posting about patient's measles on anti-vaccination page

From ABC News:

A nurse at a hospital in Texas where a toddler tested positive for measles has been fired after she posted about the diagnosis on an anti-vaccination website, according to hospital Brady measlesofficials.

The employee's firing comes just one day after Texas Children's Hospital said it was investigating the incident.

"We were made aware that one of our nurses posted protected health information regarding a patient on social media," the hospital said in a statement Tuesday night. "We take these matters very seriously as the privacy and well-being of our patients is always a top priority. After an internal investigation, this individual is no longer with the organization."

Texas Children's Hospital in Houston said Monday it stopped a nurse from seeing patients after she reportedly posted about a young boy’s condition on an anti-vaccination group on Facebook, according to a statement.

She allegedly wrote about the case on the "Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children - Texas" Facebook page, which has since been deleted. A concerned parent posted screenshots of the unidentified nurse’s comments on the hospital's Facebook page late Friday.  Read more here.


Leigh Ann

It is a HIPPA violation since it was the only case of measles in that hospital and in texas at the time (so very easy to figure out one child especially when her place of work was mentioned). She also said he had traveled out of the country and was too young to vaccinate. ALL of this is considered HIPPA due to someone could easily do some online snooping and figure out who it is in the community. Obviously people making comments have never lived in a small community and worked in healthcare because trust me it doesn't take much info for people to figure out who it is. So sorry to burst the big conspiracy bubble but she's the one who screwed up and got HERSELF fired. Not one ounce of sympathy for this so called good nurse. If you work in healthcare then you should NEVER be talking about a patient or case on social media in order to protect your own butt.

Shelley Tzorfas

A recent Yale study has called into question the safety of vaccines and could lend fuel to anti-vaccine advocates like Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who has already written a piece covering the study on the news site EcoWatch.
The study, published last month in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry, reports that patients diagnosed with neuropsychiatric disorders like obsessive-compulsive disorder and anorexia nervosa were more likely to have received vaccinations three months prior to their diagnoses. Though the collaboration between researchers at Pennsylvania State University and the Yale Child Study Center yielded results that seem to dispute the safety of vaccines, the authors asserted that the study needs replication on a larger scale and does not establish a causal relationship between vaccines and neuropsychiatric disorders.

Shelley Tzorfas

From what I read, the children now grown are still alive even After the Measles!

Jeannette Bishop

@vaccine papers,

Did the nurse in question post a picture (this AoA post starts off relaying or posing a different scenario where a mom posts a picture)? That is not mentioned in the reporting I've read:

When everything in the alleged nurse's post reads like it's straight out of Voices For Vaccines, we have to wonder who really made that nurse's post and why, especially when the FB group "Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children" has a reputation of being infiltrated by trolls.

Indeed Allie! I am not inclined to scream conspiracies at every turn, but I did find some of the peculiars of this story just plain weird. Yes, in addition to not being told the identity of the nurse, pay attention to this alleged post on Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children: First, she seemed to be speaking for others when suggesting that her and her collegues likely had not seen a case of measles before. How often have we heard this line from vaccine pushers that vaccines are victims of their own success? Next, the severity of the boy's measles, although not changing her antivaxx stance, got her to start sympathizing with provaxxers. Still, in the next abrupt, radical turn, she contemplated taking a swab of the boys' disease to infect her own child. Really -- how so 'typical' antivaxxer of her! Then there is the real topper: This post just happened to be discovered by an angry, worried mom of an immune-compromised child, and who allerted the hospital to it. Again, does this not nicely fit into provaxxers' concerns for immune-compromised kids?

Yes, many of us may also be wary of screaming conspiracies, yet I am starting to sense 'over-the-top' desperation from vaccine pushers in responding to 'antivaxxers'. Case in point -- summing a study with accompanying media fanfare, to dismiss antivaxxers' social media presence as the activity of Russian bots.

vaccine papers

Medical professionals are not allowed to publish pictures of their patients without permission.

A picture is NOT "non-identifying information".

She blatantly broke HIPAA rules in a very public way, and thats a reasonable justification for being fired.

Here is an explanation of the HIPAA rule:

"The HIPAA Privacy Rule prohibits the use of PHI on social media networks. That includes any text about specific patients as well as images or videos that could result in a patient being identified. PHI can only be included in social media posts if a patient has given their consent, in writing, to allow their PHI to be used and then only for the purpose specifically mentioned in the consent form."

Jeannette Bishop

I assume HIPPA and such were mainly implemented to protect shareholder profits from speedy groundswell post-marketing data gathering of pharma product failures that might impact sales before doubt manufacturing tactics can be employed, etc., as our government and corporations are gathering as much data as they can net on us all the time...

From what I read of the nurse's post, I was wondering if this case of measles possibly matched a vaccine strain or occurred in spite of a recent vaccination given and the nurse's "violation" was mainly one of releasing information the vaccine protection and promotion club deems best to not tell, or at least not to tell in that way?

Grace Green

Allie, very good point. It could have been done to frighten nurses off doing something of that nature, for fear of being sacked.


The ABC story sets off a number of alarm bells.

1) Why is the NON-IDENTIFYING information the nurse posted on Facebook Co considered "protected health information," when the identical information ("measles is scary!" "some cases are severe!" "likely brought in from another country !" [which is a distraction from the efficacy issues of the vaccine] ) was announced by health officials during the "Disney measles" scare?

2) why was the nurse's identity not disclosed? Isn't it standard to do so, especially when the individual in question has been fired for violating a policy?

3) When everything in the alleged nurse's post reads like it's straight out of Voices For Vaccines, we have to wonder who really made that nurse's post and why, especially when the FB group "Proud Parents of Unvaccinated Children" has a reputation of being infiltrated by trolls. Could the entire episode be a means of manipulating "anti-vaxers" into defending the breach of medical privacy? If so, that would certainly have terrible implications for our side.

We absolutely should advocate for the right to medical privacy to be upheld, at all times.


See! All this Hippa stuff; all those papers that the receptionists hands out for all of us to sign and keep while waiting in the doctors' offices; if they did not hand them out it would be enough to save acres of forests from which the paper came from; it is all about big pharma and other companies hiding behind it as a reason be able to intimidate us all.

I have noticed that when it goes the other way and we got the big wigs up at the top doing the same thing "nothing" happens.

But then they got lawyers.

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