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Swine Flu Parties

Swine Flu Parties

Wasn’t it nice this summer not to have to hear about swine flu every day? Well no sooner did the thermometer drop below scorching and lo and behold, swine flu is making the headlines again. According to a WHO briefing last week, evidence from multiple outbreak sites demonstrates that the swine flu virus has rapidly established itself and is now the dominant influenza strain in most parts of the world. Also in the news is one of the latest swine flu trends: the “swine flu party.” I’m not sure what the decorations would be, and what would be in the goody bags? Boxes of tissue and plenty of fluids? But, woohoo, you’re invited!

“Swine flu parties” are gatherings in which people come together to swap germs with a person who has “novel H1N1 flu” (which is, by the way, the CDC‘s upgraded name for swine flu) in order to become infected with the virus. The intent of these parties is for a person to become infected with what for many people has been a mild disease, in the hope of having natural immunity to the virus that might become a more severe disease later.

The CDC does not recommend swine flu parties as a way to protect against future infection with novel H1N1 flu: While the disease seen in the current novel H1N1 flu outbreak has been mild for many people, it has been severe and even fatal for others. There is no way to predict with certainty what the outcome will be for an individual or, equally important, for others to whom the intentionally infected person may spread the virus.

Rather than deliberately exposing yourself to the virus, or exposing others to it if you have it, the CDC recommends that people with novel H1N1 flu avoid contact with others as much as possible. If you are sick with flu-like illness, you should stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities.

Not long ago when my kids were at the chicken-pox vaccination age, many of my mom-friends talked about chicken pox parties based on a similar premise. Some were adamant about surrendering to infection so that they could have control over it and avoid vaccinations. What are your thoughts on “virus parties”? Would you deliberately expose yourself or your children to novel H1N1 flu, or another virus, in order to build immunity? I’m very interested in hearing both sides of this story. RSVP in the comment field below!

Read more from the Care2 Swine Flu Project here:

THE VACCINE
Swine Flu Vaccine: What to Do?

H1N1 Vaccine-Tested In Animals First

Safety Concerns Swirl Around H1N1 Vaccine

Swine Flu (H1N1) Experts And Bill Maher On The Vaccine And Managing Your Risk

PREVENTION
Keep Swine Flu Out Of Your House
Swine Flu Symptoms & Prevention

Swine Flu: The Single Best Way to Prevent Illness

Swine Flu Parties

Swine Flu: Can Cinnamon Fight It?

IMPACT
My Life With Swine Flu

H1N1 A Challenge For Working Mothers

H1N1 And Your Pets (Really!)

Toxic Pollution And The Swine Flu Vaccine

Germ-Free Children: Freaking Out About Swine Flu

Read more: Children, Cold and Flu, Conditions, General Health, Health, , , ,

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Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.

64 comments

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7:23AM PDT on Jul 11, 2012

Wow!

5:16AM PDT on Jun 5, 2010

Well, there you go. It takes all types, I suppose.

3:51PM PST on Jan 4, 2010

No I will NOT attend and tempt fate?

12:31PM PST on Dec 28, 2009

Ok, I am stunned.

11:26PM PST on Dec 9, 2009

I haven’t heard about “swine flu parties” and if I did, I don’t know if I would willingly expose my children. By the same token, I’m not completely convinced a shot is necessary either. Two of my children have had chicken pox and luckily for us everything turned out ok.
As I write this, my 4 year old is home from pre-school yesterday and today. He did run a fever and I’m taking him (along with myself) to the Dr. this pm because I suspect he has an ear infection.
I guess I’m with you Lisa, if any of my kids happen to get swine flu I would hope they got it earlier in the season not only to get it “over with” but to build their immune systems.
Glucosamine

11:23AM PST on Dec 4, 2009

I'm speechless!

8:43AM PST on Nov 8, 2009

As A child I attented a neighbors chicken pox "party" and got my virus shed "goodie" bag so I could play with all the children at my apartment building and get the virus over with before I got any older.....crazy, right? Probably one of the only circumstances that it is o.k. I now have lifetime immunity compared to those who had a vaccine and now will need boosters as an adult to prevent becoming infected as adults when the virus can cause severe damage, even death. Now talk about the Flu and these parties and you really are crazy! Any one with flu needs to stay home and not leave for like a whole week! Call anyone you know to drop off food for you at your door and tell them to run. You don't know how it is going to affect you and there is a possibility that there are more than one strain to reinfect you so if you think a party will knock it off your radar, think again, and start boosting your immunity now for a quick recovery should you happen upon it. !

10:02AM PDT on Oct 21, 2009

Faith - what do you mean "exposes her child to the flu"? Could you clarify please? Thanks.

9:52AM PDT on Oct 21, 2009

Any mother who exposes her child to this flu should be charged with child abuse. It's mainly children who are dying from it. What non-sense.

9:32AM PDT on Oct 14, 2009

Choice.... hmmmm - I agree completely, but the controlling powers have other ideas - get to the virus to the highest "pandemic" level and then bring in the compulsory vaccination program across the board. This is the BIG concern, and the one that needs the most public awareness and resistance in my opinion.
It's our Birthright to decide what goes into our own bodies, no?

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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