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Swine Flu Parties

Many thanks to Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, for the link. I have a great deal of information about swine flu on this site. My posts may be found at this category link. I have coverage of the worldwide pandemic, the United States, the U.S. military, New York State and select cities in the United States. Please browse and contact me if you have any questions.

CNN has this report:

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.

It is not clear if this is just a rumor or if it is a “movement”. It is a terrible idea.

Influenza, including novel H1N1 or swine flu, is an illness that affects the entire body. It renders the patient ill for more than a week and even when mild can produce dehydration, high fevers and respiratory distress.

While the data is not firm, an unusual number of young people with no prior health issues are being hospitalized and even dying after catching swine flu. It seems stupid, at the very least, to risk your child’s life by deliberately infecting him with swine flu.

Even if your child does have a mild case, he or she risks infecting any number of people they come into contact with who may not be so lucky. Grandma with the bad heart could catch it, Uncle Lou the diabetic, cousin Sarah who’s pregnant, or little brother Ricky who is four weeks old. Every family has relatives, friends or neighbors who are a much higher risk for death from the swine flu than little Junior who you just purposely infected.

Please, don’t be an idiot. Say no to swine flu parties.

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  1. can’t help but noticing that you are not saying it wouldn’t work, just that people should not do it because it helps swine flu spread overall.

    Whether it is a hoax or not, I can tell you from personal experience that parents are making this decision on a daily basis. There’s been a breakout at our kids’ summer camp at Sidwell (yep, THAT Sidwell) and the possibility of gaining some sort of immunity against a stronger version of the flu that might come this Fall is definitely playing a role in some parents’ decisions.

  2. I haven’t participated in any such parties, and I doubt I will. But it is too early to tell whether doing so is stupid. If the virus returns this fall in more virulent form, then we will likely all wish we had done so.

  3. I smell “Internet hoax”, as the CNN article lists no named person as supporting the idea of swine flu parties.

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