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article imageA new way of immunizing children: Chicken pox-infected lollipops

By Daniel Zhu     Nov 12, 2011 in Health
Vaccination has certainly boosted the world’s health by making people immune to certain diseases. However, some parents in the U.S. are becoming shockingly creative, using chickenpox infected lollipops to "naturally" immunize their children.
Yeah, that's right, parents are giving their children lollipops licked by other individuals infected with chickenpox, instead of using the standard vaccinations. They hope the pox’s virus will spread to their children so they can be immunized “naturally”. Since our mouths are the dirtiest and most germ filled places on our bodies, the thought of having children lick the used lollipops has shocked doctors across the U.S. Doctors warned that by licking the infected lollipops, individuals are quite unlikely to be infected, since chickenpox is mainly an airborne virus. The children will, however, have a chance to contract other lethal viruses like hepatitis B from the germs of the saliva.
Also some parents have also let their children drink the spit of those infected with chickenpox. This week, there were reports made on a Facebook group known as “Find a Pox Party In Your Area”, which consisted of parents who were willing to sell items infected with chickenpox to others around the country. Those who wanted their children to be immunized in this "natural" way, bought vials of spit and used lollipops contaminated with the chickenpox virus. In some cases a single used lollipop was priced and sold at $50. Luckily, a U.S. federal prosecutor noted that sending disease contaminated items is illegal, and the site was removed shortly after.
A question that might pop in all our minds is why parents risk their children by using this new method of transporting viruses and immunizing their sons and daughters? James Martin, the U.S. District Attorney asked, "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?”
There is simply the fact that an individual may have a bad response to a vaccination. In one case, a parent who ran the "Find a Pox Party In Your Area" organization told BBC News that her son had experienced seizures, developed chronic encephalitis, and had a fever of 105.7 degrees after taking a vaccination. "He was never the same after those vaccinations," she said. She also noted the fact that her child's doctor warned her to not vaccinate her other children in fear of evoking the same reactions. Thus, she turned to other ways of vaccinating her children, and started the Facebook site for her son.
Chicken Pox Parties are also another method of immunizing children, and have been organized around the U.S. for the past few years. Obviously, doctors disapprove of infected children hugging and sharing lollipops with other individuals in these parties, trying to infect the uninfected. Again, the reasons for these parties are to naturally immunize children, and protect the young ones from the severe effects of vaccinations. Dr. Anne Gershon, the president of the Infectious Disease Society of America, said, "Chicken pox parties are a terrible mistake,". She also told the New York Post's Page Six Magazine that chickenpox is not a deadly disease, but by infecting children through the Pox Parties the uninfected could attract other more dangerous and fatal maladies.
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