Thumbs down to flu parties

As a reason for a party, this one is getting a big thumbs down from public health officials.

TORONTO — As a reason for a party, this one is getting a big thumbs down from public health officials.

Rumours have emerged in Britain and elsewhere about people mixing with friends who have the new H1N1 virus and parents throwing “swine flu parties” so their children will get infected.

Their apparent reason is a belief that it’s better to get the virus now while it causes mostly mild illness than in the fall when a possibly mutated and more deadly version could appear, says the British Medical Association, warning against such disease-swapping socials.

“I have heard of reports of people throwing swine flu parties and I don’t think it is a good idea. I would not want it myself,” said Dr. Colin Hamilton, chair of the public health committee for the BMA in Northern Ireland. “The virus has only been known for two months and is still an unknown quantity.”

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