Measles in the Mail

Here’s an article I missed the first time, and thanks to Tom Levenson at Balloon Juice for catching it. Apparently some of the anti-vaxers are crazier than I thought.

Prosecutor to parents: Mailing chickenpox illegal

Parents fearful of vaccinations are being warned by a federal prosecutor that making a deal with a stranger who promises to mail them lollipops licked by children with chickenpox isn’t just a bad idea, it’s against the law.

Jerry Martin, U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said he was spurred by reports this week by KPHO-TV in Phoenix and WSMV-TV in Nashville about people turning to Facebook to find lollipops, spit or other items from children who have chickenpox.

Chicken pox isn’t the extreme case, although ordering kid spit is pretty daft. Isaac Thomsen, a specialist in pediatric infectious diseases at Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital, points out that none of this has any real chance of giving your child chicken pox. But the article goes on:

Thomsen, the Vanderbilt physician, said he was even more concerned by a person in the KPHO report seeking items tainted with measles to avoid a school-required vaccination. Measles has a significant mortality rate, causes more complications and is very infectious compared with chickenpox, he said.

Ordering measles by mail in the hopes of giving your child a resistance to measles is truly weapons grade stupidity.