A Los Angeles start-up is offering to let people choose their own illness schedules by buying a box of used tissues for $80.
The company, Vaev, claims that "using a tissue that carries a human sneeze is safer than needles or pills," indicating exposure to the viruses on the tissues serve as an alternative to flu shots and similar vaccines.
"We're not about chemicals or prescription drugs here at Vaev," the company's website states, inviting customers to "get sick on your terms."
The company is unclear on whether the tissues are artificially treated or coated with the waste materials from an actual human sneeze.
Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease specialist and professor at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine, called the effectiveness of such a scheme into question.
"This is potentially hazardous if it does work, and I don't think that it does," Schaffner told Yahoo Lifestyle.
"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."
Schaffner said he finds it unlikely that viruses would survive the journey from the company to the customer's home.
"Save your $80," Schaffner said. "This whole thing is a cockamamie idea."
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