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.
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