Healthcare News & Insights

Some parents opt for ‘chicken pox pops’ over vaccines

A federal prosecutor has issued a warning that buying lollipops laced with chicken pox is illegal. Most people would add that it’s also a terribly dumb thing to do.

The warning came about after reports in various news outlets that people are selling candy, spit and other theoretically contagious items from children who have chicken pox.

The items are generally sold to parents who eschew at least some vaccines and want their kids to get chicken pox when they are younger and the disease is generally milder.

The scientific validity of such an idea is certainly questionable — chicken pox is most often spread via inhalation. But its illegality is known.

Which is why Jerry Martin, a U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee issued the warning to parents who may be considering buying such items. Transporting infections material through the USPS is a federal crime that carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison.

Besides being illegal and ineffective at transmitting chicken pox, medical experts warn the “pox pops” could easily spread other less “desirable” diseases like hepatitis.

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