Parents are Considering Holding “Swine Flu Parties”


CNN reports on how experts are telling moms not to hold “swine flu parties”:

Health experts are warning parents against holding “swine flu parties” in the hope of infecting their children with the H1N1 virus.

Talk of swine flu parties has emerged on Internet forums. The idea is that exposing a child to the H1N1 virus while it remains relatively mild will give the child immunity if the virus returns in a more virulent form later on.

The idea is an extension of chicken pox and measles parties that were once a popular way of exposing children to those diseases so that they might acquire resistance to subsequent infections.

But health officials have been quick to condemn the idea. Speaking at a conference, Dr Richard Jarvis, chairman of the British Medical Association’s public health committee, said “I have heard of reports of people throwing swine flu parties. I don’t think it is a good idea.”

This reminds me of chicken pox parties, where parents send their children to catch to the virus. The idea is that a) the virus is relatively harmless when kids are young, so why not expose them to it early?, and b) children can avoid potentially harmful chicken pox vaccinations.

The swine flu party idea, on the other hand, doesn’t make much sense at all. How do parents know that it will become enough of a standard illness that it’s worth exposing kids to it? Plus, there’s no vaccination yet.

I feel bad for the kids.

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  • John

    The chicken pox parties of old were, obviously, before a vaccine was available. Once there is an approved vaccine, it is generally much safer than the disease.
    H1N1, however, is a horrible idea for a “party” because (as a flu) it is likely more dangerous for children than adults.

  • Gregory

    I don’t know about “chicken pox parties” but I think that deliberately exposing a child to the flu is abuse, especially when you consider how close they are to a vaccine:

  • Lela Davidson

    What happened to voluntary quarantine?

  • Have you heard that Swine Flu is actually a PR-inspired scandal? Check it out at

  • Interesting stuff. Did you hear that there’s a new strain which is resistant to the anti-flu drugs? Tamiflu etc? Found a really good website for tracking it’s progress, seems to be updated every hour or so…

  • Interesting idea, but very flawed. The best way to protect your children is to make sure they have healthy immune systems. This means eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise and also enough sleep. There are also many natural ways to boost immunity. Taking oil of oregano is great at fighting viruses and ecinachea and golden seal are excellent immune boosters.