You may have heard that parents began to host chicken pox parties a couple of years ago. The parties are hosted by a mom whose child has the disease in its active stage. Nearby moms bring their unvaccinated kids to the party in the hopes that they will contract the disease, thus avoiding the Varicella inoculation while also gaining immunity. It sounds like a strange version of Survivor tot version, but wait…it gets worse.
Were these chicken pox parties odd? Yeah, kinda. Creepy? Without a doubt. But they weren’t against the law.
However, the latest way to infect your child with the disease is illegal, not to mention gross.
MSNBC reports that a Nashville woman was found selling infected lollipops for $50 each on a chicken pox party Facebook page, then shipping them to moms who lived too far away to attend a real-life chicken pox party. The Facebook page called “Find a Pox Party in Your Area” was “helping to arrange shipments of contaminated objects—jammies, blankets, suckers.”
Wendy Werkit of Nashville offered a “fresh batch of pox in Nashville shipping of suckers, spit and Q-tips available tomorrow 50 dollars via PayPal.”
Nashville federal prosecutor Jerry Martin warned parents not to try it, telling the Associated Press, “It’s illegal and unsafe.” After a Nashville TV station ran the story, a warning immediately went up on the Facebook page:
“The mailing of infectious items, such as lollipops, rags, etc., is a federal offense. This page is not private and can been seen by members and non-members alike. You may post on the page that you have the pox and are willing to share but please keep your specifics in private messages between members. We are all intelligent adults but these guidelines will help protect your privacy. If you’d like to go back and delete your posts about mailing, feel free to do so.”
There is no way to tell if a lollipop licked by a kid hundreds of miles away will actually cause a child to come down with chicken pox if she licks the very same pop, but she could theoretically acquire a few of the other germs the child had. What parent in their right mind would pay to do that? It’s one thing to take a stance against vaccinations and opt not to vaccinate your own child. That’s your business, but to send or purchase germs through the mail is wrong on so many levels, and illegal.
The Facebook posts specifically selling infected lollipops have since been taken down and the page itself claims that it will soon be deleted. Yet considering how many parents are willing to go to this extreme might just mean that the parents have resorted to spreading the word of the disease the old fashioned way…through email.