Are “swine flu parties” safe?

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Perhaps you’ve heard of hurricane parties, where people living in tropical areas band together to help one another through a hurricane, making the most of an unpleasant situation. What about the newly minted “swine flu parties”?

Are they shindigs designed for sufferers of the novel H1N1 virus to celebrate their illness?
Not exactly, says the Center for Disease Control.

In an online report about swine flu prevention, the CDC describes swine flu parties as “gatherings during which people have close contact with a person who has novel H1N1 flu in order to become infected with the virus.”

Those who had young children prior to the mid-1990s might recall chickenpox “playdates,”which had a similar concept to swine flu parties.

These types of gatherings, in which parents willingly and intentionally expose their children to viruses – or where adults choose to expose themselves to active viruses – in hopes of developing immunity, are flawed, the CDC says.

Here are a few of the 
CDC’s observations and recommendations about swine flu parties:

  • Though most people experience mild swine flu symptoms, there is always a risk of complication or death from the virus.
  • Stay away from others until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours.

While they are not a proven means to develop swine flu immunity, swine flu parties are however, an excellent way to facilitate and fuel a swine flu outbreak in the community. The safest, most responsible approach to flu prevention is to get a swine flu vaccine and to stay home until swine flu symptoms have disappeared or get medical attention.

To view more examples of our work, visit the Sample Content section of our website. And to learn more about slowing the spread of a swine flu in the community, read our sample article.