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Immunizations Needed For Your Child - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Immunizations Needed For Your Child

We have record or near record low levels of vaccine preventable childhood diseases in the United States, but that does not mean these have disappeared. Many of the viruses and bacteria are still circulating in this country or are only a plane ride away. That’s why it’s important that children, especially infants and young children, receive recommended immunizations on time. In our mobile society, over a million people each day people travel to and from other countries, including countries where many vaccine preventable diseases remain relatively common. Without vaccines, epidemics of many preventable diseases could return, resulting in increased– and unnecessary– illness, disability, and death among children.

[Vaccination schedule for children]

The following vaccine-preventable diseases, not long ago, disabled and killed millions of American children. Thanks to our country’s high childhood immunization coverage levels, these diseases are now very uncommon.

Diphtheria

Description

A respiratory disease caused by bacteria

Symptoms

Gradual onset of a sore throat and low-grade fever

Complications

Airway obstruction, coma, and death if not treated

Transmission

Spread by coughing and sneezing

Vaccine

Diphtheria toxoid (contained in DTP, DTaP, DT or Td vaccines) can prevent this disease.

 Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) 

Description

A severe bacterial infection, occurring primarily in infants

Symptoms

Skin and throat infections, meningitis, pneumonia, sepsis, and arthritis

(Can be serious in children under age 1, but there is little risk of getting the disease after age 5)

Complications

Hib meningitis (death in one out of 20 children, and permanent brain damage in 10% - 30% of the survivors)

Transmission

Spread by coughing and sneezing

Vaccine

Hib vaccine can prevent this disease.

Hepatitis A

Description

A disease of the liver caused by hepatitis A virus

Symptoms

Potentially none (likelihood of symptoms increases with the person's age)

If present: yellow skin or eyes, tiredness, stomach ache, loss of appetite, or nausea

Complications

Because young children might not have symptoms, the disease is often not recognized until the child's caregiver becomes ill with hepatitis A.

Transmission

Most often: spread by the fecal-oral route (An object contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A is put into another person's mouth.)

Less often: spread by swallowing food or water that contains the virus

Vaccine

Hepatitis A vaccine will prevent this disease.

Hepatitis   B

Description

A disease of the liver caused by hepatitis B virus

Symptoms

Potentially none when first infected (likelihood of early symptoms increases with the person's age)

If present: yellow skin or eyes, tiredness, stomach ache, loss of appetite, nausea, or joint pain

Complications

The younger the person, the greater the likelihood of staying infected and having life-long liver problems, such as scarring of the liver and liver cancer

Transmission

Spread through contact with the blood of an infected person or by having sex with an infected person

Vaccine

Hepatitis B vaccine is will prevent this disease.

  Measles

Description

A respiratory disease caused by a virus

Symptoms

Measles virus causes rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes, lasting about a week.

Complications

Diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death

Transmission

Spread by coughing and sneezing (highly contagious)

Vaccine

Measles vaccine (contained in MMR, MR and measles vaccines) can prevent this disease.

  Mumps

Description

A disease of the lymph nodes caused by a virus

Symptoms

Fever, headache, muscle ache, and swelling of the lymph nodes close to the jaw

Complications

Meningitis, inflammation of the testicles or ovaries, inflammation of the pancreas and deafness (usually permanent)

Transmission

Spread by coughing and sneezing

Vaccine

Mumps vaccine (contained in MMR) can prevent this disease.

  Pertussis (whooping cough)

Description

A respiratory disease caused by bacteria

Symptoms

Severe spasms of coughing that can interfere with eating, drinking, and breathing

Complications

Pneumonia, encephalitis (due to lack of oxygen), and death, especially in infants.

Transmission

Spread by coughing and sneezing (highly contagious)

Vaccine

Pertussis vaccine (contained in DTP and DTaP) can prevent this disease.

 Polio

Description

A disease of the lymphatic and nervous systems

Symptoms

Fever, sore throat, nausea, headaches, stomach aches, and stiffness in the neck, back, and legs

Complications

Paralysis that can lead to permanent disability and death

Transmission

Contact with an infected person

Vaccine

Polio vaccine (IPV) can prevent this disease.

  Rubella (German measles)

Description

A respiratory disease caused by a virus

Symptoms

Rash and fever for two to three days ( mild disease in children and young adults)

Complications

Birth defects if acquired by a pregnant woman: deafness, cataracts, heart defects, mental retardation, and liver and spleen damage (at least a 20% chance of damage to the fetus if a woman is infected early in pregnancy)

Transmission

Spread by coughing and sneezing

Vaccine

Rubella vaccine (contained in MMR vaccine) can prevent this disease.

  Tetanus (lockjaw)

Description A disease of the nervous system caused by a bacteria
Symptoms Early symptoms: lockjaw, stiffness in the neck and abdomen, and difficulty swallowing Later symptoms: fever, elevated blood pressure, and severe muscle spasms
Complications Death in one third of the cases, especially people over age 50
Transmission Enters the body through a break in the skin
Vaccine Tetanus toxoid (contained in DTP, DT, DTaP & Td vaccines) can prevent this disease.

Varicella (chickenpox)

Description A virus of the herpes family
Symptoms A skin rash of blister-like lesions, usually on the face, scalp, or trunk
Complications Bacterial infection of the skin, swelling of the brain, and pneumonia (usually more severe in children 13 or older and adults)
Transmission Spread by coughing and sneezing (highly contagious)
Vaccine Varicella vaccine can prevent this disease.

(Information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.)

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