Cheerleader Flu Shot Hoax Debunked

Hoaxes spread and gain traction by playing to the fears of the people. In the cheerleader flu shot case, a woman named Desiree Jennings was definitely playing to a little of both. Although to this day she claims that everything she experienced was 100% authentic, the experts aren’t so sure. Her symptoms may be real, but the cause of her symptoms might just be made up.

This hoax might just be an authentic head case. Here’s why.

Can a Flu Shot Really Cause Muscle Problems?

As the story goes, Jennings went to the doctor one day to get her annual flu shot. Not long after receiving the injection, she began to feel a little strange. She noticed that her body was beginning to make some jerky movements and that she was having some problems walking. After looking online at what could be happening to her, she discovered that her symptoms matched up with the classic symptoms of dystonia.

This caused her to pursue treatments for dystonia. As Jennings sought out help, she began seeing additional problems. She found it difficult to walk or have her mind control her movements. Eventually she was confined to a wheelchair so that she could have a certain level of independence. For a woman who was a cheerleader for the Washington Redskins, life had become very different after receiving a flu shot.

Was the Mercury in the Flu Shot the Problem?

Jennings did more research on flu shots and discovered that the one she had been given contained mercury in it. This caused her to research the symptoms of mercury poisoning, which seemed to also match up with what was happening to her. With this knowledge, she went public with her story and sought treatments to have the heavy metals removed from her body.

She also started talking with people who had similar problems. Jennings discovered that walking backwards helped people stay active and that running backwards or sideways was a possibility. For experts looking at her condition, this showed evidence that the problem wasn’t mercury. The problem was that her mind was unconsciously controlling the situation and that she was allowing fear to take over.

This seemed to be confirmed as cameras were filming her treatments for a news program about her condition. Over the course of a couple weeks, with Jennings’ mind off of her troubles because of the increased concentration required to run sideways or backwards, she began to improve. This all went backwards as she exited her treatment clinic, had a relapse, and had to be taken to her vehicle in a wheelchair.

Why Is This a Hoax If She’s Experiencing Real Symptoms?

Whether this was true psychogenic dystonia or something very real, there is no doubt that the suffering Jennings went through was undoubtedly difficult. The good news is that she isn’t suffering from these effects any more. She’s back to living a normal life and doing things that she loves to do.

Jennings has also become a figure that the anti-vaccine movement is promoting as evidence that vaccines are bad. After all, with homeopathic treatments and a removal of “modern” medical science, she was able to find a cure and get life back to normal.

Although there have been setbacks in the development of vaccines over the years, the simple fact is that saying vaccines are 100% unsafe is completely a hoax. It’s unfortunate that people like Jennings are used to promote this hoax because the science behind vaccines is sound. Imagine where our world would be today without a smallpox vaccine, or a polio vaccine, or even a measles vaccine? A lot of kids would not be alive today without vaccines and many more would be paralyzed, living in iron lungs, or dealing with something even worse.

Was Jennings actually helping to promote the hoax? That will probably never be known unless she decides to admit it outright. In the meantime, everyone else can rest assured that it was her mind that was likely creating the hoax that was causing her symptoms. A greater hoax has then been placed on the American public based on the “facts” of the cheerleader flu shot hoax.

How Can the Mind Do This To Someone?

The brain is a fickle little thing. It’s about 3 pounds of genius, automation, and thought all rolled into one complex computing organism. The brain is also in love with routines and doesn’t like to have fear or stress bothering it. If there’s something bad going on, the mind tries to fix it.

Although conjecture, there is a good possibility that Jennings was already leaning toward the anti-vaccine movement’s philosophies when she got a flu shot. She might have even heard about someone who had dystonia in the past. Her mind, conscious of the flu shot, unconsciously turned her fears into a physical reality in order to cope with the stresses of receiving the vaccine.

The conscious and unconscious mind don’t always communicate with each other. Some things are just done automatically. You don’t have to think about every heartbeat that occurs, right? Sometimes we also don’t think about certain actions that happen to us, such as the dystonia symptoms that Jennings had, and believe that outside influences are creating the problem.

In the internet age, this naturally means we go to Google or Bing to research the problem. If you put in symptoms of something happening to you, the internet tends to give the user a worst-case scenario. Put in “Why are my muscles twitching?” and you’ll be told you’ve got ALS. This information is assumed as fact and even more fear is created.

The cheerleader flu shot hoax needs to be debunked because real harm can come from this story. Vaccines are important throughout life. There is a greater chance of being struck by lightning than having a severe adverse reaction to a vaccine. Where the anti-vaccine movement is strong, diseases that were near eradication have suddenly come back in force. Examine the facts, keep an open mind, and you will be able to see for yourself how much of a hoax this really was.