Swine-flu parties are still a bad idea
Some bad party themes (Everybody Trade Pants!) just won't go away.
The BBC says that some people in the United Kingdom are now deliberately exposing themselves to friends who have the new H1N1 flu. We first heard about "swine flu parties" in the U.S. in May, and apparently the notion is still making the rounds. The goal of these soirees: Try to catch the flu in its current, relatively mild form, effectively vaccinating yourself.
Don't do it. In the early days of the outbreak, officials from the CDC specifically warned against this practice. There was no telling then -- and there's no telling now -- if or when the virus will mutate into a form that's more frequently deadly. (And remember that some otherwise healthy children and adults are dying right now from the current "mild" version).
Plus, even if you get away with few symptoms you may inadvertently spread the nasty party favor to pregnant women or others with damaged immune systems who are especially vulnerable to flu complications.
One has to wonder what's on the menu at a swine flu party, besides a neighbor's germs.
Pork chops? Ham? Some nice prosciutto? Any of those would give indigestion to the pork industry, which has been trying hard to separate itself from the swine flu epidemic. (For the record --again-- you can not catch swine flu from eating pork.)
But given that the guests are likely to get sick, maybe a little chicken soup would be in order.