Feeds

Feds warn 'pox party' zealots not to send viruses in post

Poxy spit safer than 'live' vaccine say refuseniks

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Health officials in Tennessee have warned parents that giving their children chickenpox-infected lollipops ordered over the internet is not a legitimate substitute for the state's mandatory immunisation programme for the scratch-inducing infection.

The warning from Jerry Martin, US attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, came after local TV stations ran investigations into a proliferation of Facebook groups that allow parents with an objection to immunisation to take the clearly more natural route of sharing lollipops and other spit-covered items.

It seems there are always parents sceptical of "unnatural" immunisation programmes, particularly those mandated by state of Federal government.

Hence, said the TV stations, the traffic to a Facebook group called "Find a Pox party in your Area", where parents sought to match up their uninfected kids with crispy infected individuals to ensure a more natural infection scenario.

However, it seems, where scheduling conflicts arose, making parties impossible, members were selling and soliciting the body fluids of infected children to facilitate remote transmission. One individual apparently offered a selection of pox-infested items including "suckers, spit and Q-tips" for a mere $50. Which is probably less than the cost of hosting a pox party yourself.

However, another Facebook page, Find a Pox Party Near You, declaimed sending viruses through the mail, but also reeled off a long list of reasons not have the vaccination. These include potential allergies, religious constraints, and that "[t]he chicken pox vaccination is a live-virus vaccine, which can be dangerous". As opposed to the dead version of the virus that you will pickup at a Pox Party.

Other parents have, apparently, solicited measles-infected items – the MMR scare still managing to rattle parents over a decade on.

Martin posed the question: "Can you imagine getting a package in the mail from this complete stranger that you know from Facebook because you joined a group, and say here, drink this purported spit from some other kid?"

More to the point, he reminded needle-phobic parents that sending viruses through the mail is against the law, and could result in a federal prosecution.

We can only be thankful that there is, as yet, no Find a Smallpox Party Near You page. ®

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
Google's whois results say it's a lousy smut searcher
Run whois google.com or whois microsoft.com. We dare you, you PIG◙◙◙◙ER
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.