According to the CDC, there are many diseases that have recommended vaccination schedules. The goal is for all U.S. citizens to receive these vaccinations to prevent the spread of these infectious diseases, and ultimately to eradicate them.
Specific vaccine recommendations vary depending on age, geographic location, and other risk factors.
Many basic vaccinations are often given in combination to reduce the number of injections. The following diseases can be prevented by following the CDC guidelines for immunization:
- Diphtheria. This is a serious disease caused by a bacterial toxin (poison). It causes severe breathing problems and can be deadly.
- Haemophilus influenzae type B. A bacterial infection that leads to conditions, such as meningitis, pneumonia, and epiglottitis.
- Hepatitis A. A viral disease of the liver. It spreads from person to person when water, food, or other items contaminated with feces are ingested. Symptoms may include gastrointestinal upset, fatigue, and yellowing of the skin. However, some people, particularly younger children, may have no symptoms.
- Hepatitis B. This type of hepatitis is spread through blood and body fluids. Symptoms may include fever, fatigue, gastrointestinal symptoms, joint pain, and yellowing of the skin and eyes that can last from weeks to months. Hepatitis B is more severe because unlike hepatitis A, hepatitis B can cause chronic hepatitis that may lead to the development of cirrhosis and liver cancer.
- Human papillomavirus (HPV). A very common sexually transmitted disease that can cause genital warts (condylomas). It can lead to cervical and other less common, but serious, cancers.
- Influenza (flu). This is a highly-contagious disease that affects your lungs. It is caused by various strains of influenza viruses. Flu causes mild to severe illness and can be deadly in some cases.
- Measles (Rubeola). Measles is a highly-contagious infection. It causes fever, cough, runny nose, and a rash all over the body.
- Meningococcal meningitis. A severe bacterial infection of the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. It is caused by a bacterial infection. Symptoms can include fever, headache, a stiff neck, nausea, and altered mental status.
- Mumps. Mumps is a virus that causes a painful infection in the salivary or parotid glands, and sometimes other areas of the body.
- Pertussis (whooping cough). A highly contagious respiratory disease. It causes severe and persistent high-pitched coughing spasms.
- Pneumococcal pneumonia. A serious lung infection caused by the bacteria called Streptococcus pneumoniae.
- Polio. A highly infectious viral disease that invades the nervous system. Symptoms may include a flu-like illness and stiffness in the neck and back with pain in the limbs. In the worst case, the infection can result in permanent paralysis of the limbs, typically the legs.
- Rotavirus. A highly contagious virus that is the leading cause of severe diarrhea among children.
- Rubella (German measles). This is a contagious disease caused by a virus. Symptoms include a rash and fever.
- Tetanus (lock jaw). A bacterial disease of the nervous system caused by Clostridium tetani. Symptoms include painful contractions of the muscles that can progress to seizure-like activity and nervous system disorders.
- Varicella (chickenpox). A contagious disease caused by the varicella-zoster virus and marked by skin eruptions. It is most common in children.
- Zoster (shingles). A painful skin rash with blisters caused by the varicella zoster virus. It is the same virus that causes chicken pox. After a chickenpox infection, the virus can remain in nerve cells and reappear years later in the form of shingles.
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