Tags: measles | parties | vaccines | california | warning

Measles Parties Not a Good Idea, California Health Officials Warn

By    |   Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 12:33 PM

Measles "parties" could threaten participants' health as well as the health of the public at large, and California health officials this week warned against them and other intentional exposures to the virus.

Reuters reported that the California Department of Public Health decided to issue a warning after it received inquiries from parents curious about exposing their children to measles and chicken pox instead of getting the related vaccines.

"CDPH strongly recommends against the intentional exposure of children to measles as it unnecessarily places the exposed children at potentially grave risk and could contribute to further spread," said department spokeswoman Anita Gore.

San Francisco radio station KQED reported last week that some parents in Marin County were advertising their infected children, asking other parents if they'd like to arrange play dates so their kids would get infected too.

This may sound strange, but "measles parties and chicken pox parties are practices that developed in eras before vaccines for those diseases were available," the radio station explained.

"Both viruses are known to cause greater, more dangerous complications in adults. So some parents would intentionally infect their kids when they were young to work through the illness in its milder form, then retain immunity."

Health experts now say such infections are unnecessary, and even dangerous. An estimated 30 percent of people infected in the current outbreak of measles have been hospitalized, Gore explained.

CDPH reported that 39 of the 107 confirmed cases in the current outbreak have been traced back to the Disneyland cluster that was reported in January. Pockets of San Francisco and Los Angeles are potential powder kegs for infections, with vaccination rates dipping below 80 and 90 percent in some L.A. County schools.

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Measles "parties" could threaten participants' health as well as the health of the public at large, and California health officials this week warned against them and other intentional exposures to the virus.
measles, parties, vaccines, california, warning
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2015-33-10
Tuesday, 10 Feb 2015 12:33 PM
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