Fearful of vaccinations, a few parents are taking matters into their own hands. Pox parties and mail order chickenpox lollipops are becoming a popular alternative for parents who don’t trust vaccinations. But government officials warn that these pox parties are not only dangerous, they are also illegal.
The SF Gate reports that finding pox parties and chickenpox lollipops is getting easier thanks to Facebook groups like “Find a Pox Party in Near You.” Parents can use the group to find “a child who has the chicken pox” and to ask their parents to send “infected lollipops or clothing through the mail.”
Jerry Martin, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, told the Associated Press:
“Can you imagine getting a package in the mail from this complete stranger that you know from Facebook because you joined a group, and say here, drink this purported spit from some other kid?”
Isaac Thomsen, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases, said that even if parents receive a chickenpox lollipop, it isn’t likely that it will give their child the chickenpox.
“If there’s a very high load on the virus and shipped very quickly, it’s theoretically possible. But it’s probably not an effective way to transmit it. It typically has to be inhaled.”
So its ineffective and gross. What else can be wrong about chickenpox lollipops…? Oh, it could land you in jail for twenty years. Martin said that sending infected lollipops through the mail is illegal under the same law that makes mailing anthrax illegal. A person caught sending chickenpox lollipops could be sentenced to more than 20 years in jail.
“If you are engaged in this type of behavior, you’re not only potentially exposing innocent people to dangerous viruses and illnesses and diseases, you’re also exposing yourself potentially to federal criminal prosecution.”
Would you ever have your kid lick a chickenpox lollipop? Have you ever attended a pox party?