Chicken Pox via Mail

Before the varicella vaccine became widely available in 1995, some parents would encourage a case of chicken pox in their children, as enduring the disease would cause immunity and it is less dangerous in children than for adults. Decades ago when I was young, no encouragement was needed as chicken pox, measles, and mumps swept through schools every year -the same way smallpox and diphtheria spread before vaccines were developed. Since most children are innoculated these days, it's not so easy to find a case of chicken pox to catch, so some vaccine-wary parents are going online to have it delivered mail!
One post from a Facebook group called “Find a Pox Party in Your Area” (a closed group, but with pictures of its hundreds of members) reads, ”I got a Pox Package in mail just moments ago. I have two lollipops and a wet rag and spit.” Another woman warns, “This is a federal offense to intentionally mail a contagion.” Another woman answers, “Tuck it inside a zip lock baggy and then put the baggy in the envelope : ) Don’t put anything identifying it as pox.” Very clever.

I'm sure employees of the postal service appreciate such subterfuge. The fact remains that the practice is illegal. And didn't we learn back in the '80s that sharing bodily fluids with strangers is dangerous? Link

(Image credit: Jelene Morris)

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I had chicken pox at 6. I developed shingles at age 26. It was two weeks of the most protracted and intense pain I've ever had in my life, and I've had kidney stones, so I've got a pretty high pain threshold.

The idea of sending chicken-pox-infected lollipops through the mail is disgusting on so many levels.
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I caught measles as an unvaccinated child. Nearly died from meningitis, have been deaf ever since.

We vaccinate children to protect them from this scourge.

When I come across anti-vaxxers I want to punch their lights out : we vaccinate because any dangers from vaccines are trivial compared to the dangers of the disease.
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A general FYI for others who have not experienced shingles: if you develop red spots on one side of your body that appear in an oddly straight line, this is almost definitely a sign you're developing shingles.

I didn't know this, but was very lucky to point it out to someone only a couple days after they appeared. They informed me it was almost definitely shingles and I got to the doctor right away for a shot.

Thankfully, catching it that early prevented anything but a minor irritation. Had I waited, it could have been very painful.
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