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Vaccine Preventable Diseases

  • Be Wise ImmunizeDiphtheria is a disease of the nose, throat and skin. It can cause breathing problems, heart failure and nerve damage. Diphtheria kills 1 out of every 10 people who get the disease.
  • Hepatitis B can cause scarring of the liver or liver cancer, and in some cases, death. It is the second leading cause of cancer in the world.
  • Hib (Haemophilus influenza "B") germ until recently was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in children less than 5 years old. Vaccination has made this a rare disease.
  • Influenza is an infection in the airways caused by the influenza virus. Although some symptoms may be cold-like, they are far more serious: headache, chills and a dry cough are rapidly joined by body aches and fever. Full recovery may take up to 6 weeks. Influenza may lead to more severe and life-threatening illnesses, such as pneumonia, resulting in hospitalization and even death. Influenza vaccination is safe for anyone 6 months of age and older.
  • Measles virus causes high fever, cough and a rash. Ear infections or pneumonia may follow. Measles can also affect the brain (encephalitis).
  • Meningococcal infections are caused by a germ (meningococcus). This germ can cause two serious diseases, meningitis and septicemia. Meningitis is an infection of the fluid and lining that cover the brain and spinal cord. Septicemia is a serious blood infection that can kill very quickly. Even with treatment, about 1 in 2 children with meningococcal septicemia will die or have permanent damage.
  • Mumps can cause fever, headaches and a swollen face. The swelling is caused by a viral infection of the salivary glands. One of every 10 persons with mumps gets meningitis. Deafness and infertility are other rare consequences of mumps.
  • Pertussis (whooping cough) can last for months. The cough is so strong, the child often throws up. Children can also have breathing problems, pneumonia, brain damage and die. The risk of complications is greatest in children younger than 7 years of age.
  • Pneumococcal infections are caused by a germ (streptococcus pneumoniae). This germ causes several different infections. These are meningitis (brain infection), bacteremia (blood infection), pneumonia (lung infection) and otitis media (middle ear infection).
  • Poliomyelitis can cause nerve damage and paralyze a person for life. People get polio from drinking water or eating food with the polio virus in it.
  • Rubella (german measles) is usually a mild viral illness in children. If a woman gets rubella in the early part of pregnancy, her baby may be severely handicapped or die.
  • Tetanus (lockjaw) is a disease caused by a germ often found in soil that gets into the body through a cut in the skin and kills 2 of every 10 people who get it. Those who survive often have lasting problems with speech, memory and mental function.
  • Varicella (chickenpox) begins with a fever, followed in a day or two by a rash that can be very itchy. This rash starts with red spots that soon turns into fluid-filled blisters. It is common in children and usually mild. If adults get it, they can become very sick. It can also lead to severe skin infections, scarring, pneumonia, brain damage and death.