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Warning against "swine flu parties"

A family website suggests parents are taking their children to "swine flu parties" in the hope they catch the virus and acquire immunity before the main flu season.

The website, has witnessed discussion between parents considering taking the drastic action before the virus becomes more potent. However, there is no firm evidence of such events taking place.

It would not be the first time parents have exposed their children to infections to gain immunity.

For many years parents have exposed their children to friends with chickenpox so they can get the once-only disease at a convenient time.

But British Medical Association expert Dr Richard Jarvis has warned against taking the same action with swine flu after it emerged a child in the UK died from the disease.

A spokesman for NHS West Midlands said the child had "other serious underlying health conditions" and tested positive for swine flu following her death.

It is not yet known whether the disease contributed to her death.

Copyright © Press Association 2009

British Medical Association