While the idea of chickenpox and measles parties now seems ridiculous to most people, in the pre-vaccine era, it might not have been so strange. Since getting these diseases was inevitable, it might make some sense to try and control when your kids got sick. Did did pediatricians actually encourage parents to have measles parties?
Did Pediatricians Ever Encourage Parents to Have Measles Parties?
Some folks think they have evidence that they did!
Wait, did they really have measles?
These kids had German measles – better known as rubella. Of course, that is not the same thing as measles or rubeola.
Measles vs Rubella
Why do we worry about rubella? Unlike measles, it’s not because it can make kids very sick, but rather because if a pregnant woman gets rubella, then it can be devastating for their baby.
That’s why some folks tried to get rubella when they were kids, well before they reached the age when they could become pregnant.
How did that strategy work out?
Many articles advocating for rubella parties (German measles) appeared in the 1950s and early 1960s.
Of course, those rubella parties didn’t prevent the rubella epidemics that came in 1964-65 and caused 12.5 million rubella virus infections and “resulted in 11,250 therapeutic or spontaneous abortions, 2,100 neonatal deaths, and 20,000 infants born with congenital rubella syndrome.”
It was the rubella vaccine that was developed in 1969 that helped control and eventually eliminate rubella and congenital rubella syndrome in the United States. And eliminated all of the risks of the measles parties that some folks used to have.
More on Measles Parties
- What’s the Evidence for Measles Parties?
- Alternative Names for Vaccine Preventable Diseases
- Personal Stories About Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
- Remembering When Everyone Had Measles
- Do You Know What Vaccine-Preventable Diseases Look Like?
- Believe It or Not, Chicken Pox Parties Are Still a Thing
- Japan’s Rubella Outbreak Should Be a Warning About What Could Happen Here
- Grave Reminders of Life Before Vaccines
- CDC – Manual for the Surveillance of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
- Rubella | History of Vaccines
- Orgies of Death – The Dangerous Tradition of Pox Parties and Measles Teas
1 thought on “Did Pediatricians Ever Encourage Parents to Have Measles Parties?”
Reading comprehension is not high on the list of things most anti-vaxers are good at.