Mail Order Disease

Sometimes a story so shocking comes along, I have to share it.  Usually, it’s a case of good shocking. This time, it’s a case of oh-my-gosh-what-are-they-doing shocking.

Pox parties; you may have heard of such a thing. Parents get kids together to play with one another when someone in the group has chicken pox. Chickenpox can be a pretty nasty disease–particularly in adults, but is usually not too bad in children. In fact, for many, it seemed a right of passage to get the pox and the associated fever.  I remember my case of chicken pox, despite it being maybe 25 years ago.

The idea of the pox party is that all kids in a group get chicken pox at the same time, and by getting it as children, they don’t face the wrath that comes with pox in adults. It’s not a bad idea in theory, but we’re not talking about giving everyone soda at the same time so they all crash and take a nap together. We’re talking about an extremely contagious disease being forced upon kids by their parents. If this doesn’t scream human rights violation, I don’t know what does.

Now, what happens when parents don’t know someone with chickenpox? It seems some moms have been linking up through Facebook to find pox across the country. Live disease is being sent through the mail to moms. Of course, not only does no one know the viral load being sent, since these are strangers even the disease itself can’t always be known or trusted. Parents unknowingly getting hepatitis or meningitis through the mail and giving it to their children is just around the corner.

The biggest kicker here: there’s a vaccine for chickenpox. That’s right, a safe and effective way to build immunity to chickenpox is a doctor’s visit away.

What these parents are doing is dangerous, not based on facts, and most likely illegal.

Read more at Mike the Mad Biologist (PG-13 for language) and Aetiology (includes video)

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