Feds: 'Chickenpox Lollipops' Illegal

    In this Nov. 3, 2011, photo, U. S. Attorney Jerry Martin speaks in his Nashville, Tenn., office about the serious federal charges people could face for sending items used by children infected with the chickenpox virus through the mail. Martin said the items are sought by parents who don't want to give their children vaccines. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

    Erik Schelzig / AP

    Parents who are afraid of vaccinations have been searching Facebook for licked lollipops, spit, and other items from children who have chickenpox. But federal officials are warning that such activity is ineffective and illegal. One infectious-diseases specialist explained that a lollipop licked by someone with chickenpox is unlikely to cause infection, but it could carry more dangerous viruses like hepatitis. Jerry Martin, a U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, said the activity is also illegal because it is a federal crime to send viruses across state lines, and a conviction could lead to as many as 20 years in prison. Martin said, “If you are engaged in this type of behavior, you’re not only potentially exposing innocent people to dangerous viruses and illnesses and diseases, you’re also exposing yourself potentially to federal criminal prosecution.”

    Read it at The Associated Press