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posted by martyb on Tuesday February 10 2015, @11:34PM   Printer-friendly
from the do-no-harm dept.

The Chicago Sun Times reports that in a disturbing California Bay Area trend, parents wary of vaccinating their kids are considering having their unvaccinated children attend measles parties with those who are infected. The idea is the same as a chicken pox party. Parents bring their children to these gatherings to get them sick once so they won’t have to deal with the virus again. Except, most cases of chicken pox aren’t deadly. Marin County Public Health Officer Matt Willis says that although his office has received no reports of such parties, officials have fielded several calls from parents asking about the benefits of "natural immunity," or the idea that immunity gained from contracting a disease is superior to immunity conferred through vaccination. Measles is a serious illness that can cause brain swelling, long-term neurological effects and even death, Willis says. Plus, he added, there is no evidence that immunity gained through becoming sick with measles is any better than vaccine-imparted immunity. "Any parents who are considering this, they should have a look at a child who’s really sick with measles, and I think they’d change their minds."

Willis and other health officials suspect the concept of a measles party may have grown out of "pox parties," which were popular in the 1980s, before the chickenpox vaccine was widely available. Some parents, reports said, even arranged to pay strangers for licked lollipops, saliva or other items from infected children. Willis says he still hears reports of “pox parties” occurring in Marin today, even though a chickenpox vaccine has been available for more than two decades. "It was not a good idea then, and it's still not a good idea," says Wilbert Mason.

 
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  • (Score: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11 2015, @01:54AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday February 11 2015, @01:54AM (#143409)

    You are seriously trying to claim vaccines are not safer than a disease party. Did "measles"

    How the fuck is a needle jab that stops what is in reality a nasty disease worse? Yes, sometimes in very rare vaccines don't take, that's what herd immunity is for and what exactly disease parties help break. Herd immunity also helps the extremely rare cases where a child cant be vaccinated (immune deficiency, actual reactions to a vaccine).

    Retards who sprout your nonsense are helping to break herd immunity and main / kill children. Yeah that's right, measles can kill. Oh and what about all those other fun diseases like polio?

    Now if this kind of actual preventable physical harm isn't child abuse (and I add that withholding of medical treatment without a good reason has been held as child abuse in court), I don't know what is.

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  • (Score: 2) by sjames on Wednesday February 11 2015, @05:04AM

    by sjames (2882) on Wednesday February 11 2015, @05:04AM (#143460) Journal

    It's a dangerous practice and if it continues it will without doubt result in death and disability.

    However, from the social standpoint, it will confer immunity and so a child who has had the measles is no risk to herd immunity.

    • (Score: 1) by khallow on Wednesday February 11 2015, @03:39PM

      by khallow (3766) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday February 11 2015, @03:39PM (#143615) Journal

      However, from the social standpoint, it will confer immunity and so a child who has had the measles is no risk to herd immunity.

      Depends on how many people they infect in the process.