‘Measles Parties’ a Bad Idea, California Public Health Officials Warn

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California public health officials are warning parents against “measles parties,” saying that intentionally exposing unvaccinated children to a person with measles could put them at grave risk.

“Measles is a serious illness that can have significant consequences,” California state epidemiologist Dr. Gil Chavez said in a statement, adding that 30% of people who have been infected in the current outbreak have been hospitalized.

Also, he said, such exposure could contribute to further spread of the California-centered outbreak, which has infected more than 100 people in eight states and Mexico.

Chavez issued the statement after KQED reported that a Marin County mother had been invited to expose her two young children to a child who had contracted measles. The mother, Julie Schiffman, whose 6- and 8-year-olds are not vaccinated, told KQED that she declined the offer.

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