Stories about: varicella zoster virus

Leaving health to luck?

Claire McCarthy, MD

Avoiding the chickenpox vaccine has been in the news recently, with the story of a company offering lollipops licked by kids with chickenpox as a way to give your child the illness. Some parents, apparently, would rather use those lollipops, or take their child to a chickenpox party to play with infected kids, than give their child the vaccine.

It got me thinking about my mother and her quest to give me chickenpox when I was a child.  She would have drawn the line at the lollipops (which is a ludicrous idea—not only is it incredibly unlikely to work, but who knows what other germs were in that kid’s mouth), but she would have taken me to the parties in a heartbeat. She did her own version: she took me to play with neighborhood kids when they got chickenpox.

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