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Children


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Your children's first vaccines protect them from eight serious diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. Historically, these diseases injured and killed many children (and adults). For example,Polio paralyzed about 37,000 people and killed about 1,700 each year in the 1950s before there was a vaccine. In the 1980s, Hib disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in children under 5 years of age. About 15,000 people a year died from diphtheria before there was a vaccine. Most children have had at least one rotavirus infection by their 5th birthday.

 

None of these diseases has completely disappeared, and without vaccination, they will come back. This has happened in other parts of the world.

 

Diphtheria:

This is a bacterial infection you acquire from contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms include a thick covering in the back of the throat that can make it hard to breathe and can lead to breathing problems, heart failure, and death.

 

Tetanus (Lockjaw):

This bacterial infection occurs through a cut or wound and does not spread from person to person. Signs and symptoms include painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to stiffness of the jaw, so the victim can't open his mouth or swallow. It leads to death in about one out of five cases.

 

Pertussis (Whooping Cough):

This is a bacterial illness acquired from contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms include violent coughing spells that can make it hard for an infant to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks, and can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring spells), brain damage, and death.

 

Hib ( Haemophilus influenzae type b) :

This is a bacterial infection acquired from contact with an infected person. There may be no signs or symptoms in mild cases, but it can lead to meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings); pneumonia; infections of the blood, joints, bones, and covering of the heart; brain damage; deafness; and death.

 

Hepatitis B:

This is a viral infection of the liver contracted from contact with blood or body fluids of an infected person. Babies can get it at birth if the mother is infected, or through a cut or wound. Adults can get it from unprotected sex, sharing needles, or other exposures to blood. Signs and symptoms include tiredness, diarrhea and vomiting, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), and pain in muscles, joints and stomach. It can lead to liver damage, liver cancer, and death.

 

Polio:

This is a viral infection acquired from close contact with an infected person, entering the body through the mouth. Signs and symptoms can include a cold-like illness, or there may be no signs or symptoms at all. It can lead to paralysis (can't move arm or leg), or death (by paralyzing breathing muscles).

 

Pneumococcal:

A bacterial infection you can get from contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms include fever, chills, cough, and chest pain. It can lead to meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings), blood infections, ear infections, pneumonia, deafness, brain damage, and death.

 

Rotavirus:

This is a viral infection you acquire from close contact with an infected person. Signs and symptoms include severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever. It can lead to dehydration, hospitalization (up to about 70,000 a year), and death.

 

Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR):

The MMR vaccine is a "3-in-1" vaccine that protects against measles, mumps, and rubella -- all of which are potentially serious diseases of childhood.

 

Chickenpox (Varicella):

Chickenpox is a highly contagious illness caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV). It generally begins with spots appearing in two or three waves, mainly on the body and head, which become itchy raw pockmarks, small open sores which heal mostly without scarring.

 

Chickenpox has a 10-21 day incubation period and is spread easily when the sick person coughs or sneezes. You can also catch it through direct contact with secretions from the rash. Following primary infection there is usually lifelong protective immunity from further episodes of chickenpox.

 

Want more information about vaccines? Click here or here.