How "chicken pox parties" are on the rise again: experts warn parents against natural immunity and the dangers of unpredictable viruses
- It is said that the practice of mixing healthy children with chickenpox is on the rise, almost 25 years after developing the chickenpox vaccine
- Experts warn parents against participating in these "chicken pox festivals"
- It is said that the severity of the virus is unpredictable and a bet for healthy children
- Chickenpox can lead to serious complications and death, even in healthy children
Chickenpox parties are said to be on the rise again, but experts warn that the dangers of intentionally infecting healthy children with the virus can outweigh the supposed benefits of doing so.
Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin recently made the news after he revealed to the WKCT that he and his wife had intentionally exposed their five biological and four chicken pox babies, all unvaccinated.
"They took chickenpox on purpose, because we found a neighbor who has it and I went and made sure all my children were exposed and they took it," Bevin said.
Chickenpox festivals are said to be on the rise again, almost 25 years after the creation of a vaccine. At parties, parents intentionally expose healthy children to infected children
Bevin went on to say that the children were "unhappy for a few days" after succumbing to chicken pox, but "they all went well". It is not clear how old the children are when they have been specially infected.
The goal of the Republican governor should have been to help his children get immunity from illness, a move that experts warn against.
The so-called chicken pox festivals, in which healthy children were placed in close proximity to infected children, were presumably popular in the days before a vaccine was released in 1995.
Parents who participated in smallpox parties then and now are said to believe that by making sure their children got sick and then fought chicken pox when they were young, they would not catch it when they were older and less able to overcome it.
& # 39;[It is] wrong that getting the natural disease will make your immunity stronger, so you don't need a vaccine, which is a much safer option, "said Dr. Natasha Burgert at INSIDER, adding that" People he does not realize that the reason vaccines made is because they cannot kill children ".
Experts say that exposing healthy children to those infected with chickenpox in an attempt to help them gain immunity later in life is a gamble as the severity of the virus is unpredictable (action)
Republican governor Matt Bevin (center) recently made headlines for revealing that he intentionally had all nine of his children (pictured) infected with chickenpox from a neighbor's child
Vaccines typically contain weakened or killed forms of disease microbes. When introduced into the body, the immune system recognizes the microbes and then destroys them, learning to do the same whenever those microbes re-enter the body along the line.
As such, vaccines are seen as a safe way to boost the immune system, unlike exposing people to the virulent version of the disease.
Burgert noted that it was a "bet" to intentionally infect healthy children as well, because the severity of chickenpox is "impossible to predict".
"Some children will only take a few [chicken pox], some will die. You don't know, so let's vaccinate everyone [we can]", Said Burgert.
The Centers for Disease Control agree with this feeling.
On its website, the CDC noted that "chicken pox can be serious and can lead to serious complications and death, even in healthy children. There is no way to tell in advance how serious your child's symptoms will be "So it is not worth taking the opportunity to expose the child to someone with the disease. The best way to protect newborns and children from chickenpox is to vaccinate them."
The seemingly growing antivaxxer movement has gained more attention in recent years, particularly in the wake of measles epidemics across the country in the last year.
Measles had previously been eliminated in the United States in 2000, thanks to general vaccinations against measles and the relative immunity to herds.
"Vaccines are a victim of their own success," Dr. Elizabeth Murray told People. "When we didn't have a chickenpox vaccine, parents often decided to try" to end it, "thinking that boys and adults often had a worse time with the disease. However, the person with the best time with the disease disease is the one who can never get it ".