Colorado Boy Dies of Flu After Mom Tries Anti-Vaccine Facebook Group Suggestions to Use Elderberries and Thyme Instead of Doctor's Flu Medicine

The death of Najee Jackson Jr. in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is coming under scrutiny after posts made by the mother in an anti-vaccine Facebook group's page indicate he was prescribed Tamiflu but the family chose natural "remedies" instead.

CBS News reported on the Facebook posts, which were made to a group called Stop Mandatory Vaccination, which is one of many on the social network that disperse hoaxes and false information about vaccines. It has over 139,000 members.

Jackson's mother posted to the group's that her 4-year-old son had been diagnosed with the flu by a doctor, but her natural remedies like peppermint oil, lavender and vitamin C were not alleviating his symptoms.

doctor flu swab test
A doctor prepares a flu swab test Dusan Petkovic / Getty Images

"The doc prescribed tamiflu I did not pick it up," she wrote.

Other members of the group suggested that she give Najee breast milk, elderberry or thyme as treatment. The mother responded that she would try those things.

The posts have since been deleted. Previous posts by the woman still exist on the group's page, including one from 2017 in which she says that her children do not get the flu vaccine.

On Wednesday, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment issued confirmation that Najee had died as a result of his illness, the second pediatric flu death this season.

On the GoFundMe page the family has set up to pay for their medical expenses, the mother describes the situation leading up to Najee's death.

On the page, Najee's mother says that two of her other children were suffering from the flu. She took her youngest son to the emergency room on February 2 after his symptoms worsened. According to the mother, the child was not admitted, and the family returned home.

That night, Najee was found by a sibling lying unconscious on the floor. According to the mother, she called 911 and began CPR. After the emergency medical technicians arrived, she lost consciousness.

Najee was then taken to Children's Hospital in Colorado Springs. In the pediatric intensive care unit, he was found to have paraflu and influenza B.

His symptoms worsened. Several days later the boy was taken off life support and died.

Newsweek was not able to obtain confirmation from the family as to whether Najee or any of their other children was eventually treated with Tamiflu or any other prescription medication.

KDVR spoke with the boy's father, who said he had not been paying attention to the online comments directed at his family.

"The negative comments—keep to yourself, because at the end of the day, what's important is that each one of these parents goes home and kisses their kids," he told the station.

In November 2019, The Washington Post reported that the Stop Mandatory Vaccination group, led by founder Larry Cook, was one of the leading advertisers of vaccine-critical content on Facebook.

The pinned post on Stop Mandatory Vaccination is a video advertisement by Cook, who is selling zeolite detox supplements. Zeolites are minerals commonly used as drying agents. Proponents claim that they can be used to treat a host of ailments, including autism and cancer.

According to the Daily Beast, on GoFundMe, Cook has taken in nearly $80,000 for advertising campaigns and other expenses.