Thursday, May 7, 2009

Swine flu parties

Posted By on Thu, May 7, 2009 at 10:16 AM

Can't folks think of anything better to do with their time? It's one thing to purposefully expose yourself, but exposing your children sounds like child abuse when it's known the flu is many times more deadly for children and the elderly than it is for healthy adults.

What at first appears an absurdity – seeking out infection with swine flu instead of avoiding it – is being actively debated on flu Web sites and by some flu experts.

Infectious disease specialists say they understand the logic – that surviving the current, apparently mild strain of the virus might be protective if a more virulent strain emerges next fall. But they are generally against it.

Dr. Anne Moscona, a flu specialist at Weill Cornell Medical College, said she had been called by a reporter for a women's magazine “asking if mothers should hold swine flu parties, like chicken pox parties.”

(“Chicken pox parties” – in which children gather so they can all be infected by a child who has the pox – are held by parents who distrust chicken pox vaccine or want their children to have the stronger immunity that surviving a full-blown infection affords, and are willing to take the risk that their child might get serious complications.)

“I think it's totally nuts,” Moscona said. “I can't believe people are really thinking of doing it. I understand the thinking, but I just fear we don't know enough about how this virus would react in every individual. This is like the Middle Ages, when people deliberately infected themselves with smallpox. It's vigilante vaccination – you know, taking immunity into your own hands.”

Read the rest of this Charlotte Observer article here.

Here's a YouTube video claiming to promote swine flu parties, though it could double for an Ecstasy commercial with a side of conspiracy theory. FYI: You'll be four minutes into the video before it gets to the point. Fortunately, it's entertaining.

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