Vaccine Preventable Diseases
Vaccine-preventable disease levels are at or near record lows. However, we are unable to take this for granted. It is important that children and adults continue to receive their immunizations on time every time. If we stopped vaccinating, diseases that are almost unknown would reappear in our community. Vaccines are designed not to just protect our children but our grandchildren and their grandchildren.
- Measles virus causes rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation and fever. It may lead to ear infection, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.
- Mumps virus causes fever, headache and swollen glands. May lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries and rarely, death. MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.
- Rubella virus causes rash, mild fever and arthritis (mostly in women). If a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects. MMR vaccine (measles, mumps, rubella) is used for protection.
- Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat and can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and even death. DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acelluar pertussis), DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@), DT (diphtheria & tetanus), Td (tetanus & diphtheria), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection.
- Tetanus (Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. May also lead to "locking" of the jaw so the person cannot open his mouth or swallow. May also lead to death. Td (tetanus & diphtheria) and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection.
- Pertussis (Whooping cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. May last for weeks and can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. DTaP (diphtheria, tetanus, acelluar pertussis), DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@), and Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, & acellular pertussis) vaccines used for protection.
- Varicella (Chickenpox) may be spread from person to person through the air, or by contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. Causes a rash, itching, fever and tiredness and may lead to severe skin infection, scars, pneumonia, brain damage or death. A person who had had chickenpox can get a painful rash called shingles years later. Varicella and MMR-V combination (measles, mumps, rubella, and Varicella) vaccines used for protection.
- Polio can paralyze (make arms and legs unable to move) and may start with a fever and muscle spasms. Inactivated Polio vaccine (IPV) and DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@) vaccine used for protection.
- Haemophilus influenzae type B (Hib) disease is a serious bacterial disease which usually strikes children under 5 years of age. May lead to pneumonia and severe swelling in the throat making it hard to breath. May also cause infections of the blood, joints, bones and covering of the heart and may lead to death. Hib vaccine and Hib & hepatitis B combination (Comvax@) vaccine are used for protection.
- Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A can affect anyone. Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation can also help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. Hepatitis A and hepatitis A& B combination (Twinrix@) vaccines are used for protection.
- Hepatitis B can cause short-term illness that leads to loss of appetite, diarrhea and vomiting, tiredness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes) and pain in muscles, joints, and stomach. It may also cause long-term illness leading to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer and even death. Hepatitis B, DTaP, Polio, Hepatitis B combination (Pediarix@), Hib & hepatitis B combination, and hepatitis A&B combination (Twinrix@) vaccines are used for protection.
- Invasive pneumococcal disease is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under the age of 2. Meningitis is an infection of the covering of the brain that is difficult to treat because of drug resistance. The pneumococcal conjugate (PCV7, Prevnar@) and the pneumococcal polysaccharide (Pneumovax23@) vaccines are used for protection.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact. There are approximately 40 types of genital HPV. Some types can cause cervical cancer in women. Other types can cause genital warts in both males and females. The HPV vaccine is used for protection.
- Influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Every year in the United States, on average 5% to 20% of the population gets the flu with more than 200,000 people being hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu. Two types of immunizations are used to protect against the flu virus – several inactivated injectable vaccine products and one live-virus intranasal spray vaccine (Flumist@).
- Rotavirus is the leading cause of severe acute gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea) among children worldwide. The rotavirus vaccine currently licensed in the United States, Rotateq, has shown to be quite effective against rotavirus disease. This vaccine will prevent 74 percent of all rotavirus cases, about 98 percent of severe cases, and about 96 percent of hospitalizations due to rotavirus. The rotavirus RotaTeq@) vaccine is used for protection.
Meningococcal disease is a severe bacterial infection that can cause meningitis, bloodstream infection, and other localized infections. Although the disease is not common in the United States, in those who get it, symptoms develop and progress rapidly even leading to death in 24-48 hours. Two vaccines against meningococcal disease are available: meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (MPSV4 or Menomune®), and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MCV4 or Menactra®).
- Shingles (herpes zoster) is painful localized skin rash often with blisters that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs. The shingles vaccine (Zostavax@) is available to person 60 years of age and older for protection.
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