US parents have been warned not to mail chickenpox lollipops. Prosecutors say that the practice, which is a growing trend among parents who don’t trust vaccines, is not only ineffective, it’s also illegal.
Parents have apparently been using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to try to source lollipops that have been licked by infected children. The aim is to get their children infected so that they get their chickenpox out of the way. But this delivery method is likely to be very ineffective, with chickenpox usually needing to be inhaled and the virus likely to die in the mail unless it’s delivered quickly.
Since it’s illegal to send viruses or diseases in the mail across state lines, including via parcel companies, anyone found guilty of such a trade could face jail time. But that hasn’t stopped some parents reportedly spending up to $50 a time for packs of infected lollipops.