A number of news reports and social media posts about the “Momo Challenge” created mass hysteria on the third week of February 2019. While this challenge has been circulating around various online platforms for quite some time, the recent influx of legitimate reports and posts about it poses more risk even after it was debunked as a viral hoax. At this point, the issue is beyond the phenomenon itself. The responsibility of both media outlets and netizens to check the validity of such viral content is put on the spotlight.
As news reports and social media posts continue to cover the 2019 measles outbreak in the Philippines as early as January, a number of people and institutions already expressed its connection to the paranoia following the Dengvaxia scandal. While this may have some bearing in certain cases where families insist of no longer vaccinating their children, examining the statistics available from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Department of Health (DOH) presents a more objective look into the situation, which apparently, debunks the theory that the main cause of the epidemic is the public’s Dengvaxia scare.