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1 JEA62  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 4:56:01am

ewwww....just...ewwww

2 lawhawk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 6:36:17am

Pox parties arranged anonymously through Facebook and news lists. These people are nuts if they think that this is somehow healthier than the vaccines that avoid all the problems and complications of getting a completely preventable disease all because of a baseless and groundless fear that vaccines cause some other disease - most commonly autism.

These people think that they're doing their kids a favor, but it's no favor. Getting chicken pox is no fun at all, and a significant percentage of people who come down with it get complications - and that's not counting the people who are unwillingly exposed to the disease.

3 neilk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 7:23:32am

Can we at least agree that this is better than not getting vaccinated? Do note that the immunity conferred by a full-blown case of chicken pox is stronger and longer-lasting than the jab. The CDC still recommends the vaccine because even childhood chicken pox can (rarely) have serious side effects, but this at least is different means to the same end rather than a denial that immunity is desirable.

4 Cankles McCellulite  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 8:46:06am

re: #3 neilk
I guess in a hump back, crooked sort of way i can agree.
It's a shame there isn't an inoculation for crazy. This is crazy.

5 Lidane  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 8:56:46am

re: #3 neilk

Can we at least agree that this is better than not getting vaccinated?

No, we can't.

It's safer and easier to just go to the doctor and get your kid vaccinated. These "pox parties" and this candy with a sick kid's spit on it are dangerous and stupid and profoundly ignorant. Those parents need education, not enabling.

6 lawhawk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 9:28:18am

re: #3 neilk

From the CDC:

Although varicella is frequently perceived as a disease that does not cause serious illness, especially among healthy children, many persons are not aware that an average of 10,600 (range 8,000-16,500) hospitalizations and 100 to 150 deaths due to chickenpox occurred every year in the United States before the varicella vaccine became available. The majority of the severe complications and deaths occurred in previously healthy individuals.

The availability of the varicella vaccine beginning in 1995 and its subsequent widespread use has had a major impact on reducing varicella disease. In states consistently reporting cases to the national surveillance system, rates of varicella in 2004 were 53%-88% lower compared to the pre-vaccine era. In two sites with active surveillance for chickenpox, incidence declined across all age groups, with an overall decline of ~90% from 1995-2005. Chickenpox-related hospitalizations in 2002 were 88% less compared with rates in 1994-1995; in addition, the age-adjusted rates for varicella deaths dropped 66% from 1990-2001. Deaths declined more than 90% among children 1-4 years of age and more than 70% among persons younger than 50 years of age.

Not only does the vaccine save lives, but reduces health care costs through fewer hospitalizations from complications.

No vaccine provides 100% immunity - and neither does exposure to chicken pox in the manner you describe. You can get a recurrence later in life (shingles) and the CDC suggests booster shots. But the need for a booster shouldn't detract from the importance of getting vaccinated in the first place. It should be done and these other methods are needlessly infecting kids who have no choice in the matter.

Gee - would I have rather had a vaccine than get the pox when I was 17? Absolutely. Hell yes. It was miserable. It was bad. And that wasn't with side effects, and my folks had to take time off, doctors visits, etc.

Think about what you're suggesting.

Vaccination is a no-brainer.

7 neilk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 9:34:52am

re: #5 Lidane

No, we can't.

It's safer and easier to just go to the doctor and get your kid vaccinated. These "pox parties" and this candy with a sick kid's spit on it are dangerous and stupid and profoundly ignorant. Those parents need education, not enabling.

Generally when you say "isn't A better than B" that isn't meant to exclude the possibility that C is the best.

8 RanchTooth  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 9:40:44am

re: #7 neilk

Generally when you say "isn't A better than B" that isn't meant to exclude the possibility that C is the best.

Except your spat-on-candy (A) carries the risk of other infections on top of it because it isn't controlled. So, no, it isn't better just sitting around and not getting the vaccine.

9 Lidane  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 9:46:12am

re: #7 neilk

Except that in this case, the simplest solution -- going to the doctor and getting your kid vaccinated -- is the easiest and safest one.

Anything else is just ignorant nonsense.

10 Vicious Michigan Union Thug  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:10:12am

re: #3 neilk

Can we at least agree that this is better than not getting vaccinated?

No.

11 prairiefire  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:11:40am

re: #4 Cankles McCellulite

I guess in a hump back, crooked sort of way i can agree.
It's a shame there isn't an inoculation for crazy. This is crazy.

As with most viruses, avoiding contact is the best preventative.

Missouri has the lowest inoculation rate in the country. I'm going to start writing letters. A letter campaign.

12 neilk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:12:16am

re: #10 Alouette

Anti-vaxer.

13 blueraven  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:12:53am

Both of my children had chickenpox (prior to the vaccine availability in 1995)

One was 6 and the other about 3 and a half. It was miserable. If I could have gotten them the vaccine, I damn sure would have.

14 neilk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:15:18am

re: #13 blueraven

Ever seen someone in their 40s with chicken pox? Yow.

15 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:21:35am

If we were talking about neighborhood chicken pox get-togethers, I suppose that in a surreal way, if I absolutely can't get someone to get their kid vaccinated, then making sure the kid gets the pox in their elementary school years is, yes, better than carefully shielding them from it and letting them be hospitalized at thirty. However it's a 'better' I will only issue in an absolutely relative sense, because there's NO REASON that first world people should take this batshit route.

Or at least, that's how I would feel if they were taking their kids to play with the neighbor's kids with chicken pox, while the grown-ups had coffee. That's what was done back in my day, before the vaccine was on the market.

But they can't do that so easily anymore, because most children have responsible parents, and hence, usually don't come down with chicken pox. So they're doing things like sending lollipops and spit through the mail.

That's not better. That's biohazardous. So now you're not only not getting your kid proper medical care, you're potentially poisoning them, giving them hepatitis--the only reason I don't worry that you're potentially killing the HIV-positive mailman is that after some quick research, I think the actual chicken pox virus probably dies in the mailbox.

For some reason, I suspect that many of the people shelling out for plague lollies are the sort of people who won't let their kids eat Halloween candy, because it's got high fructose corn syrup in it, and was given by strangers, but they pay fifty bucks for a lollipop from states away that was allegedly licked by an alleged kid with the alleged chicken pox--because they'd rather do that than have their kid get vaccinated.

This is nuts.

16 Cankles McCellulite  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:22:54am

I guess i should clarify, when i said i could agree in a hump back crooked sort of way, i meant i could agree if i completely twist and contort my thinking. lol.
For the record, i do not agree that it is better than nothing.

17 SanFranciscoZionist  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:23:33am

re: #14 neilk

Ever seen someone in their 40s with chicken pox? Yow.

What a good reason to get your child vaccinated, so s/he will not have to get the chicken pox at forty!

18 neilk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:25:43am

I think it's really weird to believe that it's worse than nothing. Believing it's worse than nothing, rather than believing that it's better than getting the FDA-approved vaccine, suggests that you would also have believed it was a bad idea before the vaccine was available. This, in turn, is basically the anti-vaxer position.

The original smallpox vaccine was pretty gross too, but it was a damn good idea and saved a lot of lives.

19 neilk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:29:18am

re: #17 SanFranciscoZionist

A better reason to get your child vaccinated rather than full-blown infected is that s/he's then less likely to infect a hapless 40-year-old, perhaps one who was told by her parents that she had the disease as a child and so didn't get the vaccine when it came out when she was an adult (the vaccine is not recommended, IIRC, for people who have already had the disease, as it can trigger a shingles outbreak).

20 Lidane  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:30:05am

re: #18 neilk

I think it's really weird to believe that it's worse than nothing. .

So you'd be fine with exposing your kid to chicken pox and other diseases intentionally by paying $50 for candy with a sick kid's spit on it? Come on. Don't be an idiot. Of course it's worse than nothing because for one thing, IT'S NOT CONTROLLED. You don't know what you're getting, and you're just going to give it to your kid?

It's easier and safer to just take that same $50 and take your kid to the doctor for the vaccine.

21 neilk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:33:31am

The topic, as I understand it (and as it is presented in the topic of this post), is "pox parties" in general and not the specific practice of buying a pseudo-vaccine from a stranger. Pox parties meaning a bunch of susceptible children go over to the house of a child suffering from the highly-contagious disease and almost certainly bringing it home. Overpriced contaminated lollipops aside, social networking does make it easier to do this.

I knew I was getting old but I didn't think I'd be seeing my childhood referred to as "the middle ages" until, I dunno, at least after the iPhone 5 was out.

22 Lidane  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:42:33am

re: #21 neilk

The topic, as I understand it (and as it is presented in the topic of this post), is "pox parties" in general and not the specific practice of buying a pseudo-vaccine from a stranger.

Read the article at the top again. Here, I'll even help:

If you think buying a lollipop contaminated with saliva from senders whose children are infected will protect your kids from chicken pox, think again - because it probably won’t. More likely, you will be exposing them to more serious infections, such as hepatitis. A US attorney in Nashville, Jerry Martin, said not only is it unsafe to mail such contagious items, it is also illegal.

After being interviewed by WSMV-TV regarding virus exchanges in Tennessee via online social media websites, Martin decided to speak out.

According to WSMV-TV, a woman in Nashville, Tennessee was sending parents chicken-pox lollipops she claimed were contaminated with her sick children’s saliva at $50 dollars per lollipop.

Some people are under the mistaken idea that by doing this they will expose their children to chicken pox virus, thus bypassing the need for the formal vaccine. The parents, virtually all of them lay people, believe that this method is more effective and safer than receiving a vaccination.

That's the topic, not just the outdated idea of a "pox party".

In both cases they're stupid and dangerous, and the kids are much better served by just getting the vaccine. But the $50 candy with a sick kid's spit on it is dangerous for a variety of reasons.

23 neilk  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 10:53:58am

I did read it, thank you, but I don't go along with conflating pox parties with unlicensed sales of homemade pseudo-vaccines. As you say, they are very different things.

24 dragonath  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 11:00:33am

I was intentionally exposed to chickenpox as a kid, and I get shingles flareups from time to time. It really sucks.

I mean, it's a goddamn virus. You never know what's going to happen.

25 RanchTooth  Mon, Nov 7, 2011 12:17:36pm

re: #18 neilk

I think it's really weird to believe that it's worse than nothing. Believing it's worse than nothing, rather than believing that it's better than getting the FDA-approved vaccine, suggests that you would also have believed it was a bad idea before the vaccine was available. This, in turn, is basically the anti-vaxer position.

The original smallpox vaccine was pretty gross too, but it was a damn good idea and saved a lot of lives.

I think actively seeking infection is weird. It's why I use a condom when having sex. Call me crazy.

Have you ever heard of the "gift-giver" ideology in the gay world? This is when an HIV-negative man specifically seeks out an HIV-positive man so he can get the virus. In a way (and using your twisted logic) he is relieving himself from worry of contracting the virus by mistake by specifically finding that special someone who will make all of his low-white blood cell count dreams come true without it being an accident.

So, even if you contract chickenpox from a lollypop, or through a pox party, you can still have symptoms later in life (thanks for the over share re: #24 dragonath). I don't see why this would be of any use because... you could just get vaccinated. Yeah. Do that.


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