Not a bad idea 30 years ago

Nov 05 2011 Published by under Uncategorized

A number of posts have recently explored the Facebook pox parties and parents mailing infective material in violation of federal law.

I'm in the most unusual position of having recommended chickenpox exposure in my professional career. Children with chronic kidney disease, heading toward a lifetime of immunosuppression, had risk from chickenpox above and beyond a period of itchy misery. Having them get chickenpox prior to transplant was a wonderful thing that saved these children shots of prophylactic immune globulin after exposure and the danger of active infection.

So hell, yes, I had parents take their kids to visit the little pox-ball next door.

Until 1993 when the varicella vaccine became available. Now we give these kids a couple of shots before transplant. Since most of their peers have been vaccinated, they rarely get exposed. Even if their immune response is sub-par, we deal with a whole lot less morbidity from this virus.

The vaccine works. It has been around at least 17 years, and it's safety is confirmed. There is simply no reason to promote active infection today.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

One response so far

  • CM Doran says:

    I just recently read that mothers in Central Africa in the 1920's and 30's would take their kids to others infected with yaws so that they would get the infection when younger and supposedly did better with it then....this of course, before vaccinations and effective (and non-toxic) therapy were made me think of all the recent discussions on pox parties (which I find disturbing). Thanks for writing.

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