Say No to Chicken Pops—Buying Infected Lollipops Online Is Most Likely a Bad Idea

By Douglas Main | November 8, 2011 9:42 am

Don’t lie. Don’t steal. And don’t buy lollipops allegedly mouthed by infected children peddled over the internets. Apparently the third piece of advice doesn’t go without saying; parents who don’t want to give their kids vaccines in several states have turned to Facebook to find lollipops, spit, or rags from chickenpox-ridden youngsters, according to the Associated Press. Federal prosecutor Jerry Martin warns that the practice is dangerous and illegal—it’s a federal crime to ship known pathogens across state lines. It’s also likely to fail at spreading the virus since chicken pox needs to be inhaled to infect children, according to doctors, and is dangerous, since it could spread other diseases that more readily persist in saliva like hepatitis.

One post from a Facebook group called “Find a Pox Party in Your Area” (a closed group, but with pictures of its hundreds of members) reads, “I got a Pox Package in mail just moments ago. I have two lollipops and a wet rag and spit.” Another woman warns, “This is a federal offense to intentionally mail a contagion.” Another woman answers, “Tuck it inside a zip lock baggy and then put the baggy in the envelope : ) Don’t put anything identifying it as pox.” Very clever.

“Pox parties” are nothing new—although they’ve become less common since the chicken pox vaccine was introduced in 1995. But the ability to easily connect with like-minded, vaccine-wary parents around the country is. These parents, skeptical about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines, would probably do well to ditch their credulity regarding the diseased bodily fluids of complete strangers.

[Via The Associated Press]

Image: jelene / Flickr



  • MYT

    This has got to be the wackiest thing I’ve read in a while. So…parents think it’s “safer” to give their kids a lollipop with dubious provenance and the potential for a host of other diseases, rather than a vaccine that is sterile and has been extensively tested for years? The mind boggles.

  • Swgo

    I heard a cashier telling a customer saying that she puts an allergy pill in her husbands coffee every morning. He is none the wiser according to her statement. My concern is what happens if she drops dead, or if she decides to whatever his coffee? This is against the rules if not the law. Parents do odd things and their is no big “wheel spun for you are the good parent” ! Is it any different than taking sick children to day care or to school? Except it is via mail. Now we have committed “wire fraud” Feds everywhere…

    • Michelle

      Deliberately infecting your child with a disease that can re-emerge when you are an adult as shingles, an extremely painful disease that can even cause death is worse than bringing a child with the sniffles to school.

      • Anonymous

        My mother developed shingles when I was a child.  She was absolutely miserable.  My children got the vaccine.

      • CB Sorge

        I got the vaccine late (age 12) and got shingles anyway :(   it wasn’t very bad since I was young but  I still have the virus in me to emerge whenever it wants to when I’m an adult…

  • Darka

    Why am I so certain that these idiot parents would also be the first to get their kids’ halloween candy x-rayed?   The sheer stupidity of this is amazing. 

  • Burpxd

    Natural selection in action

    • Anonymous

      Exactly.  Children are once again dying of whooping cough and other diseases which have vaccines, because their parents are idiots.

  • Bonnie

    Stupid! Chicken Pox puts you at risk for Shingles later in life. These children as adults may chose a vaccine to prevent that!

  • Temblor4

    Amazing.  They’re worried about the safety of a thoroughly tested vaccine but are completely confident that spittle from unknown parties is perfectly safe. 

    Fortunately, it will help rid the world of it’s excessive number of morons just a bit faster than evolution is doing.


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