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.