|Did Sarah Walker really hand out chicken pox tampered Halloween candy?|
Over the weekend news broke here in the US of the Australian mother who bragged about handing out chicken pox-infected Halloween candy. The story horrified many people but others were skeptical of the woman's claims.
So, did this really happen? Did a nurse really knowingly try to infect other children with this common childhood disease? Or is the whole thing just a hoax?
Here's what we know for sure:
On Halloween day an administrator of the Light for Riley Facebook page posted what was alleged to be a screenshot taken from a secret anti-vaccination Facebook group. The screenshot appeared to be a posting from a woman claiming to be a nurse and bragging that she was distributing Halloween candy that had been tainted by her infected son's saliva. The woman also offered to sell tainted candy to anyone for a dollar a pop plus postage.
In a follow-up post the person, who goes by the name Sarah Walker RN, strikes back her critics, whom she refers to as "internet trolls", and likens her alleged actions to those of parents who send sick children to school or daycare.
Quickly though, holes began to appear in the story. A quick search reveals that the children's hospital the woman claims to work with doesn't actually exist. Children's Health Queensland, which is an actual hospital, says no one by that name works there or at any other hospital in their healthcare system.
Queensland Police confirms that it is investigating.
A New Twist On An Old IdeaTrying to give chicken pox to healthy children is not a new idea. Here at LisaBarger.com we've reported on "chicken pox parties", where parents intentionally expose their children to childhood diseases chickenpox, for more than a decade. We've even seen reports over the years of parents offering for sale what they claim are chicken-pox-infected candies through websites like Craigslist.
The difference here though, is that what "Sarah Walker RN" is claiming to have done, she did without anyone else's knowledge.
Can You Really Catch Chickenpox By Sharing Candy?
Whether the story of "Sarah Walker RN" is real or not medical experts say that the chances of a child contracting chickenpox from tampered candy is remote. As stomach churning as this story is, the fact remains that the virus doesn't live long outside the human body.
Photo Credit: Mae Mu