There are some parents who send their kids off to chicken pox parties so that they can control when their children are exposed to the sickness, that way they are prepared for it and after it, their kids will be immune to it. Even though there is a vaccine available, some parents still go that strange old-fashioned way. Now, a company feels there is a market for adults who think the same way.
They're called Vaev and they are selling used tissues full of germs for $80 a box. They expect people who don't want to get a flu shot will pay for their product with the hopes that they will get sick and in turn, build an immunity. On their website, the company explains, "We believe using a tissue that carries a human sneeze is safer than needles or pills. This isn't like any tissue you've used before, but we love using them, and you will too." They claim the tissues will help customers "get sick on your terms," noting, "we're not about chemicals or prescription drugs here at Vaev."
Many questions surround the product, and it has a lot of people wondering if it is actually real. On the site, Vaev says each tissue "carries a human sneeze," but further down it's stated that the tissues are "specifically engineered to contain and absorb colloid buildup, salts, antiseptic enzymes, immunoglobulins, and glycoproteins such as lactoferrin and mucins, produced by goblet cells in the mucous membranes and submucosal glands," which could mean they are manufactured and not just sneezed into. When asked about this, the company didn't comment.
In fact, Time did a whole article wondering if Vaev is legit, but it only led to more questions.
One thing that does seem for sure though is that something like this is not a good idea. Infectious disease physician Dr. Richard Watkins told Yahoo, "That's bizarre. This seems like a total waste of money," while another, Dr. William Schaffner, stated, "This is potentially hazardous if it does work, and I don't think that it does. There are over 200 common cold viruses out there. Suppose you get infected with one — you can still get infected again because there are other cold viruses out there."
They also doubt many viruses would survive the journey on a tissue from the company to your home. Plus, for it to actually infect you, you'd have to put the tissue up your nose.
Not surprisingly, the experts suggest the best way to prevent illness is to get a flu shot, however if you still want to fork over some big bucks for a dirty tissue, you can here.
Photo: Getty Images, Vaev