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Vaccine Preventable Childhood Diseases


Immunization protects against the following 10 serious diseases, which can cause disability and death. These diseases used to strike thousands of children each year. Today there are relatively few cases, but outbreaks still occur each year because some babies are not immunized. For additional information about immunizations call the state of Illinois' Help Me Grow helpline at 1-800-323-GROW (voice and TTY) or the Illinois Department of Public Health's Immunization Program at 217-785-1455.




VARICELLA (Chickenpox)

The varicella virus usually causes a rash, itching, tiredness and fever. It can lead to pneumonia, brain infection or death. Complications occur most often in very young children, adults or people with damaged immune systems.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 
Boy with Chickenpox
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TETANUS (Lockjaw)

Tetanus is caused by a poison produced by a germ that can enter the body through a cut, wound or any break in the skin -- even a tiny cut or puncture. Tetanus causes serious, painful spasms of all muscles and can lead to "locking" of the jaw so a person cannot open his or her mouth, swallow, breath or move. Three of 10 people who get tetanus die from the disease. Tetanus germs are found everywhere, usually in soil, dust and manure. Everyone should have a tetanus- diphtheria booster shot every 10 years to stay protected.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 

Boy with Tetanus
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PERTUSSIS (Whooping cough)

Pertussis, more commonly known as whooping cough, is an extremely contagious disease that also may affect the brain and is very serious for children younger than 6 years of age. It can cause spells of violent coughing and choking, making it hard to breathe, drink or eat. The cough can last for weeks. Pertussis is most serious for babies, who can get pneumonia, have seizures, become brain damaged, or even die. About half of the babies who get pertussis have to be hospitalized. Immunizations should begin at 2 months of age and are finished by 6 years of age. Pertussis is caused by a germ that lives in the mouth, nose and throat. It is spread to others through coughing or sneezing.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 

Boy with Pertussis
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POLIOMYELITIS (Polio)

Paralytic polio is a virus that strikes children and adults and can cripple and kill. It is spread by contact with the feces (bowel movement) of an infected person. Symptoms can include sudden fever, sore throat, headache, muscle weakness and pain. Before the discovery of the vaccine, polio caused epidemics in all parts of the United States. However, with the vaccine available and immunization rates at all-time highs, there has not been a reported case of polio in Illinois since 1983. Immunization begins at 2 months of age and is usually completed before school entry. However, an adult may need one or more doses if traveling to infected countries.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 

Man with Polio
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MEASLES (Rubeola)

The measles virus can be spread very easily. Even being in the same room with a person with measles is enough to catch the disease. Symptoms include a rash, fever, cough and watery eyes. Measles also can cause pneumonia, brain damage, seizures or death. Before the vaccine became available, nearly every child developed measles and measles caused hundreds of deaths in the United States every year. Immunization has sharply decreased the number of children getting measles in the U.S. and Illinois. In 1996, there were only three cases of measles reported in the state.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 

Baby with Measles
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MUMPS

The mumps virus causes fever, headaches and swollen salivary glands under the jaw. Children who get mumps may develop a mild meningitis (inflammation of the covering of the brain and spinal cord) and sometimes encephalitis (inflammation of the brain). Mumps also can result in permanent hearing loss. Serious complications also can result when adults or teenagers, particularly males, get mumps. A combined shot — called the MMR — prevents measles, mumps and rubella.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

   

Boy with Mumps
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RUBELLA (German measles)

The rubella virus usually causes mild sickness with fever, swollen glands and a rash that last about three days. But, if a pregnant woman gets rubella, she can lose her baby, or the baby can be born blind, deaf, mentally retarded or with heart defects or other serious problems. The vaccine is combined with those for measles and for mumps.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 
Baby with Rubella
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DIPHTHERIA

Diphtheria - (pdf) is an infectious disease spread by bacteria or germs that live in the mouth, throat and nose of an infected person, diphtheria is easily passed to others through coughing and sneezing. Early symptoms are a sore throat, a slight fever and chills. Usually the disease develops in the throat and can make it hard to swallow. If not treated, or not treated in time, the bacteria may produce a powerful poison that can spread throughout the body causing serious complications such as heart failure or paralysis. For years, diphtheria killed many children in the United States and could again if children are not immunized. Adults get continuing protection from diphtheria and tetanus in the same shot. Due to the success of immunizations, there has not been a case of diphtheria reported in Illinois since 1985.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 

Diphtheria

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 Boy with Diphtheria
     
     

HEPATITIS B

Hepatitis B is an infection of the liver that can become serious. It spreads through contact with blood or other body fluids. This can happen by sharing a razor, toothbrush or needles to inject drugs, or through sexual contact. Hepatitis B causes a flu-like illness with loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, rashes, joint pain and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin). An infected pregnant woman can expose her newborn to this virus during birth. The virus stays in the liver of some people for the rest of their lives and can result in severe liver diseases or cancer. Three doses of a new vaccine offer protection, and immunization is recommended for all infants, children and adolescents. Some adults who are at increased risks — doctors, nurses, teachers, paramedics, police officers — may need to be vaccinated.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 
Person with Hepatitis B
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HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZAE TYPE B (HIB) INFECTIONS

Haemophilus influenzae causes serious health problems in young children, including the most dangerous type of meningitis. It also can cause pneumonia and infection of the blood, joints, bone, throat and heart covering. This disease can be serious for children younger than 5 years of age, especially infants. New Hib vaccines are very effective in children 2 months of age or older. They are not needed after the child reaches 5 years of age.

Vaccine Information Statement  English - En Español

 




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Illinois Department of Public Health
535 West Jefferson Street
Springfield, Illinois 62761
Phone 217-782-4977
Fax 217-782-3987
TTY 800-547-0466
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