November 7, 2011 by staff
Pox Parties, If you think buying a lollipop contaminated with saliva from senders whose children are infected will protect your kids from chicken pox, think again – because it probably won’t. More likely, you will be exposing them to more serious infections, such as hepatitis. A US attorney in Nashville, Jerry Martin, said not only is it unsafe to mail such contagious items, it is also illegal.
After being interviewed by WSMV-TV regarding virus exchanges in Tennessee via online social media websites, Martin decided to speak out.
According to WSMV-TV, a woman in Nashville, Tennessee was sending parents chicken-pox lollipops she claimed were contaminated with her sick children’s saliva at $50 dollars per lollipop.
Some people are under the mistaken idea that by doing this they will expose their children to chicken pox virus, thus bypassing the need for the formal vaccine. The parents, virtually all of them lay people, believe that this method is more effective and safer than receiving a vaccination. There have been other similar parties in the past for such diseases as measles. If a child has the disease earlier in life, there is a smaller risk of complications, compared to adults who get the diseases. This is true for hepatitis A, mumps and chicken pox, and some other diseases.
The problem with ‘inoculation parties’ organized by lay people without any public health authority cooperation or supervision is quality control (e.g. accidental risks from shipping), lack of efficacy statistics, and the likelihood of unexpected infections. Pediatricians say children exposed to such practices have a higher risk of developing encephalitis and group A strep.
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