Stanford-LPCH
Vaccine Program

Preventable Diseases

 Cartoon examining kids

Many diseases are preventable using vaccinations. Immunization can spare children and adults from suffering and death. The success of immunizations leads many parents to think that it is no longer necessary to get inoculations. Measles is now regarded as a mild childhood illness lasting a few days. Before the vaccine was discovered measles killed 3,000 children per year in the United States. When immunization rates drop, outbreaks occur.

Diseases that can prevented by vaccination

A Sample of Vaccine Preventable Diseases (PDF file)

Measles
 

Measles is a respiratory disease caused by a virus.  Symptoms include rash, cough, runny nose, high fever, and red, watery eyes.  Diarrhea, ear infections, pneumonia, encephalitis, seizures, and death are complications of measles.  It is primarily spread by coughing and sneezing.  A measles vaccine is available.

Photo & information courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

   

 

 

Chicken Pox
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Chicken Pox is a virus from the herpes family.  It causes a skin rash located usually on the face, scalp, and trunk.  Complications include a bacterial infection of the skin, swelling of the brain, and pneumonia.  Chicken pox is highly contagious and spread by coughing and sneezing.  The varicella vaccine can prevent chicken pox.

Photo & information courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

 

 

Influenza
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Influenza is a respiratory disease caused by a virus. It may cause fever,cough, sore throat, runny nose, headaches, muscle aches, and fatigue. Pneumonia, swelling of the brain, and death are serious complications of influenza. It is primarily spread by coughing or sneezing. There is an influenza vaccine available.

Photo & information courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

 

 

Hepatitis A
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Hepatitis A is a disease of the liver. Symptoms of Hepatitis A are loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, pain in the stomach, weakness, tiredness, yellow skin and eyes, fever, headaches, and dark urine. Complications include low energy levels for up to a year, and death (more common in people who already have liver disease). A vaccine against hepatitis A is available.

Photo & information courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

 

 

Polio
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Polio is a disease of the lymphatic and nervous systems.  Fever, sore throat, nausea, headaches, stomachaches, and stiffness in the neck, back, and legs are symptoms of polio.  Paralysis is a complication that can lead to permanent disability and death.   Polio is transmitted through the fecal-oral route. A polio vaccine (IPV) is available.

Photo & information courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

 

 

 

More information on vaccine-preventable diseases is available on the Immunization Action Coalition site. You can also read stories of unprotected people who have suffered from vaccine-preventable diseases.

 

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