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Chicken Pox-Infected Lollipops Are a Real Thing

By Anthony Todd in News on Nov 8, 2011 7:20PM

Photo by beingmimosa.
This was definitely the most disgusting story we've come across in a while: NPR reported that a woman in Nashville was selling lollipops, licked and sucked on by her chicken pox-infected children, to parents around the country. It's official - the parental obsession with chicken pox has gone too far.

The woman was also shipping spit and cotton swabs through the mail. Yet another innovative small business on the internet! Luckily, sane people have pointed out that feeding your children any unknown food (let alone foods purportedly licked by other sick children) is a really, really bad idea. U.S. District Attorney Jerry Martin 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?” Why would anyone do this?

Chicken pox parties have been a thing for years, though the concept has always been mildly creepy. Once you get the disease, you can't get it again - and it tends to be more severe as kids get older. So, when one kid in a neighborhood has it, all the other parents bundle their kids off to the infected house to... get them sick. Sound kinda mean and icky? Well, doctors don't like it either.

Back in 2005, the American Academy of Pediatrics' Dr. Sarah Long talked to NPR about just what a bad idea those parties are compared to the vaccination. "The notion that you would willingly expose your child to the naturally virulent strong virus when there is the opportunity to have a virus in its weakened form that's as immunogenic just makes no sense to me whatsoever," she said.

Last week, the Chicago Tribune's resident pediatrician, Dr. Diana Blythe, weighed in on "Chicken Pox parties." She said that the need for them is over, thanks to the chicken pox vaccine. However, a lot of parents don't like the vaccine. If you check out the "Find a Pox Party" Facebook group (yes, there is one) they describe many objections to the vaccine, though the CDC thinks it's just fine. Even if you don't want to vaccinate your kids, please don't buy random diseases over the internet.