Prior to the 1980's, many parents would deliberately take their children to visit a friend whose kids had chickenpox. The assumption? 'Catching' chickenpox 'naturally' would provide children with ‘natural’ long term immunity.
Indeed, as a kid, I remember my parents taking me to friends whose kids were infected by chicken pox, mumps, measles and whooping cough. Of course, they didn’t tell me their ‘agenda’ at the time or I’d have run a mile! Then when I came down with all the symptoms, I just assumed it was bad luck!
Today, this practice has been largely replaced by the chickenpox Varicella vaccine. It’s called this because chicken pox is usually caused by the Varicella Zoster Virus (VZV).
However, because of worries about the effectiveness and safety of vaccines in general, and the chickenpox vaccine specifically, some concerned parents are reverting to the ‘older’ methods, with a potentially dangerous twist...
According to several press reports some parents have been using a Facebook group called ‘Find a Pox Party in Your Area’ to pay strangers to mail them “[licked] lollipops, spit or other items” from kids with the illness.
One of the Facebook postings from 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."
Werkit said that the money was used to cover the shipping costs of the lollipops that had been licked by her children. "They can't get (chickenpox) the normal way anymore of just naturally catching and just naturally getting the immunity for life."
According to CNN Health website, which had about 1,000 Facebook likes, has now been removed. Archived versions of the site show its purpose listed as “a group for parents who want their children to obtain natural immunity for the chicken pox.”
As you probably know, I am not a fan of vaccines.
However, on this occasion I agree with the many doctors and experts that mailing chicken pox is “a lousy strategy”.
Dr. Wilbert Mason, a professor of clinical pediatrics at USC’s Keck School of Medicine and an infectious disease expert at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, said he was "dumbfounded" by the news. "I'm speechless....How could people be so stupid?"
Mason believes that sending chicken pox through the mail probably won't work, because the Varicella virus needs cells to live in. There probably would be very few cells in spit or on a used lollipop. "It's unlikely the virus would survive long enough," he said.
But more resilient types of infections -- dangerous ones -- could make it, including hepatitis B, group A strep, and staph germs.
As Dr Bill Schaffner, chair of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, says: “You are sending out other germs, other bacteria, and you have no idea what is in them...It is not a good way to transmit chickenpox. Typically somebody breathes out the virus and then somebody else breaths it in.”
UCLA infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Katona was even more blunt: "I'd like to see charges pressed here," he said, referring to the practice of sending the virus through the mail.
Officials may already be on it.
The Associated Press reported on Friday that Jerry Martin, a U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, issued a warning that sending chickenpox through the mail was illegal, as well as dangerous.
Please, if you are concerned about exposing your children to vaccines, the above is not the way to go!
Consider instead safe and natural options to boost the immune system.
You may also wish to use (or give your children) our proven supplements which help the body to become less susceptible to colds and viruses. Xtend-Life Total Balance combined with our Omega 3 DHA/Fish oil and Kiwi-Klenz will help increase vital nutrient absorption, reduce body inflammation, and build up your immunity against colds, the flu and other viruses. Our Immu-Stay is recommended as an additional ‘top-up’ to give your immunity the ‘edge’ it needs.
Recalling my childhood, I know that although I hated all the symptoms of chicken pox, mumps, measles and whooping cough, my parents were adamant I ‘grin and bear it’. I had no vaccines or other medicines. (Xtend-Life wasn’t ‘alive’ then either!)
I did have my parent’s love and warm nourishing soups. I still have one of my mum’s recipes from that time....seems to have done the trick! (Mind you I wasn’t too pleased when our neighbours descended to share my precious soup!)