(NEXSTAR) — Within the week since pop music famous person Justin Bieber introduced he has Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, a situation that happens when a shingles outbreak impacts facial nerves, the analysis has been co-opted by anti-vaccine advocates on-line.
Bieber, 28, mentioned in an Instagram video final Friday that he was unable to maneuver half of his face. The singer mentioned he needed to cancel his North American tour whereas getting therapy.
“It’s from this virus that assaults the nerve in my ear and my facial nerves and has induced my face to have paralysis,” mentioned Bieber. “As you possibly can see this eye isn’t blinking. I can’t smile on this facet of my face; this nostril is not going to transfer. So there’s full paralysis on this facet of my face.”
The situation is considerably much like the better-known Bell’s palsy, although Ramsay Hunt’s results are extra extreme. Within the wake of the announcement, a number of anti-vaccine personalities and social accounts have misattributed the reason for Bieber’s situation to the COVID-19 vaccine. Some had additionally tried to tie vaccinations to a mini-stroke that Bieber’s spouse Hailey Bieber suffered in March after a blood clot traveled to her mind.
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One of many now-flagged-as-misinformation posts learn: “Hailey Bieber had a blood clot in her mind. Justin Bieber now has Ramsey Hunt Syndrome. Each points have been linked to [needle emoji]. The media thinks we’re silly however everybody is aware of.”
Along with it being unknown whether or not or not the Biebers are vaccinated, a roster of medical consultants have weighed in to debunk the faux social media rumors.
The Poynter Institute’s Politifact fact-checker mentioned one of many studies getting used to tout anti-vaccine claims on-line with one in all its co-authors, College of Hong Kong professor Bernard Man Yung Cheung.
Some on-line have pointed to Cheung’s report as proof of a hyperlink between Ramsay Hunt and COVID-19 vaccines, Poynter explains. However each Cheung and one other co-author, Oscar Hou In Chou, say the report — which talked about one 37 year-old man who developed RHS days after vaccination — doesn’t show one induced the opposite. Relatively, the report, revealed in January within the Postgraduate Medical Journal, elaborates that researchers thought-about that the vaccine may have triggered the syndrome based mostly on timing.
No conclusive proof is given within the report and each Cheung and Hou suggest the vaccine may merely have lowered the person’s immunity to sorts of herpes viruses already current, inflicting re-activation of the dormant virus and triggering facial paralysis.
Each researchers say they firmly consider in vaccines.
Cheung informed Poynter all vaccines include dangers of uncomfortable side effects, “a few of that are frequent however innocent, and a few of that are uncommon however dangerous.”
In the meantime, epidemiologist Dr. Katrine Wallace, of the College of Illinois at Chicago’s Faculty of Public Well being, took to TikTok to topple the unproven vaccination claims. As an alternative, @epidemiologistkat, as she’s identified on the video web site, says Bieber’s RHS really serves as a reminder of why you ought to get vaccinated.
“I’m right here to inform you that this drawback is an ideal instance of why vaccines are vital. Ramsay Hunt Syndrome is mainly the varicella virus that causes the chickenpox. It could lay dormant in your nervous system for many years after which remerge as shingles. And that’s what occurred to Justin Bieber. He’s obtained shingles in his ear and the nerves in his face that management the motion of his eye and his mouth. Vaccinating kids for chickenpox will shield towards shingles in kids and later of their lives as adults… Go get your kids vaccinated for chickenpox.”
Dr. Katrine Wallace
Wallace additionally reiterates that vaccines don’t trigger shingles, both. It’s a reality supported by Dr. Amesh Adalja, senior scholar on the Johns Hopkins Middle for Well being Safety.
“Shingles has not often been reported post-vaccination, however has been reported post-COVID, post-influenza, post-rabies, post-hepatitis A and post-Japanese encephalitis vaccination,” Adalja informed Poynter.
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