Queensland Police are investigating an anti-vaxxer Facebook post made by a woman claiming to be a nurse.
Light for Riley, an Australian-based organisation which advocates to protect babies and families from vaccine-preventable diseases, shared the woman’s post on their Facebook page, saying: “Have you ever seen something that instantaneously makes your skin crawl?
“How’s this: 1. Get excited by your child being infected with the chicken pox virus.
“2. Formulate a plan to intentionally infect other people’s children unknowingly by distributing contaminated lollipops to the community on Halloween.
“3. Proceed to gloat about it on a Facebook anti vaccination group.”
Light For Riley, a page named after a 3-month-old who died at three weeks old from whooping cough – a disease preventable by vaccination, blacked out the woman’s name, but left the letters “RN” at the end of her name, which is a common acronym for the term “registered nurse”.
“It’s not often I’m lost for words but this just about does it,” Riley’s dad added at the end of his Facebook post.
In her post with a photo of a bag of lollipops, the woman said she and her son, who had the chicken pox, had “decided to help others with natural immunity this Halloween”.
“We have the packaging opening and closing down pat and can’t wait to help others in our community,” the woman, who listed her city of residence as Brisbane, wrote.
“If anyone else would like some for their children happy to send via post for $1 plus postage to your location.”
Riley’s mother Catherine said “it’s horrifying to think that people consider deliberately infecting other people with a disease that can be deadly is an appropriate thing to do, especially at a time like Halloween when children are having fun trick or treating”.
“We have spoken to parents who have had children extremely sick or even lost their lives because of chickenpox, and they would be absolutely shocked to hear that someone is doing this,” she said.
A Queensland Police spokesperson confirmed to Yahoo News Australia police were aware of the woman’s Facebook post and they were investigating, but could not provide further details.
A nurse going by the woman’s name is registered with the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency.
But a Queensland Health spokesperson said no one who had the same name worked for the service.
“There are no current or former employees by that name that have worked for Queensland Health as a registered nurse,” the spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia.
The spokesperson also allayed any fears parents had about their children being infected by a lollipop.
“Children’s Health Queensland’s infectious diseases team has advised, if vaccinated against chicken pox, there is minimal risk of transmission. The risk of transmission via lollipop is also extremely low,” the Queensland Health spokesperson said.
Following backlash, the woman later defended herself in another Facebook post, addressing it to all the “internet trolls”.
“You think you’re right by judging me and my (sic) trying to report me and get me fired,” the woman wrote on her personal Facebook page.
“I don’t care. The health and well-being of my baby is far more valuable than any job.
“You say I’m vile and gross like I have done something that hundreds of thousands of parents haven’t already done.
“How many times do you see children dropped off to day care or school when they’re clearly sick and contagious?
“Exactly! And I’m offering life long immunity for the price of a couple of blisters and a few days off school.”
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