Johannes Eisele/AFP via Getty Images
His mother last week asked for advice on an anti-vaxxer Facebook group, saying her son had a high fever.
The mother, who was not named, said that she hadn't picked up the Tamiflu antiviral medication prescribed by a doctor. The group told her she was "better off" using vitamins, elderberries, and breast milk.
A 4-year-old boy in Colorado died of the flu on Wednesday after an anti-vaccine Facebook group told his mother she was "better off" feeding him elderberries and breast milk instead of treating him with the Tamiflu medication prescribed to her, the Colorado Times Recorder and NBC News reported.
Video: What If You Survived the Apocalypse?
The Times Recorder published screenshots of a conversation between the boy's mother and people on the "Stop Mandatory Vaccination" group where she asked for advice. She initially said that two of her children had the flu and that her 4-year-old son had a temperature of 102 degrees.
The two outlets did not publish the mother's name. The boy's name was Najee, according to a GoFundMe page.
"Yes it's scary the doc told me to give my other two children and myself tamaflu so we won't get it," the mother said in a comment in one of the screenshots published by the Times Recorder.
"You're better off taking Vitamin D and C, Elderberry, Zinc, and eating lots of fruits and vegetables," someone replied; their name was redacted in the screenshot.
"Okay perfect I'll try that," the mother replied.
Members of the group also suggested "natural" remedies, including breast milk and thyme, NBC reported.
Facebook/Stop Mandatory Vaccination
The mother said she didn't pick up the Tamiflu prescribed by the doctor. She had said in earlier posts that her children hadn't received the flu vaccine, NBC reported.
Najee was later taken to the hospital, the GoFundMe page said. It said in an update on Thursday that he had been taken off life support and died.
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment told NBC that the boy died of the flu but that it did not have records about whether he had been vaccinated.
The mother's posts have been deleted from the Facebook group, according to NBC and the Times Recorder, but the group is still active, with over 178,000 members.
AP Photo / Sang Tan
Doctors and public-health advocates have warned Google, Twitter, and Facebook about anti-vaxxers using their platforms to spread misinformation about the dangers of vaccinations.
Last year, the American Medical Association, the largest professional group of doctors in the US, warned against misinformation about childhood vaccines in an open letter to the CEOs of companies like Amazon, Facebook, Google, Pinterest, Twitter, and YouTube.
"It is important that people be aware not just that these diseases still exist and can still debilitate and kill, but that vaccines are a safe, proven way to protect against them," the letter said.