You may have heard about parents mailing out lollipops with the chicken pox virus on them, in an attempt to let other children contract the virus naturally – like a mail order chicken pox party.
In those parties, parents put sick children with healthy kids in order to spread the pox and build life long immunity and avoid vaccination.
However, a federal prosecutor is warning parents against trading the chicken pox-laced lollipops by mail, saying it’s illegal.
“Sending a virus or disease through the U.S. mail (and private carriers) is illegal. It doesn’t matter if it crosses state lines,” said David Boling, public information officer for the Attorney in Nashville.
“Also, it is against federal law to adulterate or tamper with consumer products, such as candy.”
Sending chicken pox-infected lollipops, swabs or vials of saliva to parents who want to infect their kids isn’t just illegal, it can be dangerous, as other diseases could be spread.
An epidemiologist for Atlanta based CDC, Dr. Rafael Harpaz, says, “It’s an incredibly bad idea for a variety of reasons.”
Harpaz says symptoms of chicken pox aren’t noticeable for “10 days to 21 days when you are exposed.” But that doesn’t mean children aren’t contagious.Children taking chemotherapy or other medications that affect the immune system are among those who can’t take the vaccine and would be at risk if exposed to infected children.
For more information on chicken pox from Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, click here.