More people killed by Netflix show than measles: Will CDC declare public health crisis caused by streaming entertainment?

Sunday, May 5, 2019
By Paul Martin

by: Ethan Huff
Sunday, May 05, 2019

What’s more dangerous: Contracting measles without having been vaccinated, or watching television shows from the comfort of your own home? Watching television shows, it turns out – and by a long shot.

Experts from the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), along with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, recently published a groundbreaking study showing that more children have died as a result of watching a suicide-focused Netflix drama called “13 Reasons Why” than have died while being infected with measles over the past several decades.

As it turns out, the measles vaccine is actually far more deadly than catching measles naturally.

Geared towards teenagers, “13 Reasons Why” has apparently inspired so many young people to take their own lives since it was first released via the Netflix streaming service back in 2017 that researchers recently decided to gauge the show’s public health impact using scientific methods.

What they ultimately discovered is that, in the one month immediately following the release of “13 Reasons Why” on Netflix, teen suicide rates increased by a shocking 28.9 percent.

“The number of suicides was greater than that seen in any single month over the five-year period researchers examined,” reports NPR. “Over the rest of the year, there were 195 more youth suicides than expected given historical trends.”

Meanwhile, there hasn’t been a single death associated with measles since 2003 – which technically makes measles infection orders of magnitude safer than pretty much anything, including mowing your lawn or sleeping.

The results of this study should raise awareness that young people are particularly vulnerable to the media,” one of the study’s authors told NPR, further illustrating that having a computer and watching things for fun is actually far more of a public health threat than catching measles.

“All disciplines, including the media, need to take good care to be constructive and thoughtful about topics that intersect with public health crises.”

For more related news, be sure to check out

Netflix’s “13 Reasons Why” has an infectious, disease-like effect on impressionable teens who catch suicide contagion, researchers say

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