[?] "Chickenpox party" in American Speech spring 2004 issue

Barnhart barnhart at HIGHLANDS.COM
Sun Apr 25 22:21:45 UTC 2004

American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> writes:
>The editors of "Among the New Words" in the latest (spring 2004) American
>Speech were somewhat flabbergasted to run across "chicken-pox party"
>citation given was 1995, by coincidence the same year that a chickenpox
>vaccine was

I found the following from a few years earlier:

When I was a child, mothers used to organize measles, mumps, or chickenpox
parties so that their youngsters could get infected from another who had a
childhood disease.  The reasoning was that if getting these diseases was
inevitable it was better to have them sooner rather than later and when
planned rather than as a surprise.  Today, most children are spared from
getting these diseases because there are preventive vaccines for most of
them.  The only major childhood diseases for which Israeli youngsters are
not yet vaccinated are chickenpox and hemophilus B (a type of meningitis),
as well as hepatitis B (which is not considered a children’s disease but
which can result in liver and cancer decades after initial infection).
Judy Siegel-Itzkovich, “New Vaccines On The Way,” The Jerusalem Post
(Nexis), Sept. 8, 1991, p not given


barnhart at highlands.com

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