Worst "medical" idea of the year: purchasing infectious disease from a stranger

I’ve finally found something that makes even less sense than unnecessary vaccines: purchasing infectious disease from a stranger online.

In an odd backlash to the chicken pox vaccine, parents with children infected with chickenpox have actually offered their kids’ spit for sale and advertised it on Facebook pages.

Also available: lollipops and Q-tips licked by the infected kids.

This less-than-brilliant idea sprang from “pox parties” — gatherings where uninfected kids play with chickenpox-infected kids so parents of the uninfected can control their child’s exposure.

That’s an idea that goes back decades. The new spin is to organize the parties through Facebook pages. And from there it was just one ah-ha! moment away from someone figuring they could turn their kid’s chickenpox into a money-maker.

According to the Associated Press, one mom was charging $50 to have infected lollipops, spit, or Q-tips shipped overnight. She told a local Nashville TV reporter that the $50 covered shipping.

Hmm…$50 for shipping a lollipop? Even with overnight rates, it sounds like there’s a very lucrative “handling charge” included.

If you want to get in on this hot pox market, I’m afraid you’re a little late. As soon as a federal prosecutor told the Associated Press that sending disease through the mail or a shipping service was illegal, the Facebook pox pages vanished.

And just like that, the Chicken Pox Spring was quashed.

Sources:
“Parents warned that new trend of mailing chickenpox lollipops is risky and illegal” Associated Press, 11/8/11, ap.org

Get urgent health alerts, warnings and insights delivered straight to your inbox