The ongoing measles outbreak that started in Disneyland, California, has created panic and concern not only in America, but all over the world. Having clawed its way through 16 American states, Canada and Mexico, health officials worry it might soon turn into a nationwide pandemic, considering the highly contagious nature of measles.
According to a new study carried out by research team at Boston’s Children Hospital, this outbreak may be a result of poor vaccination rates among the masses. Vaccines prime our immune system to fend off infections before they attack us. This not only protects us but also those around us. Here are six common diseases that you can protect yourself from with the help of vaccination.
A highly contagious disease, measles is airborne and can spread very quickly. This infection often results in pneumonia and brain swelling, and can even lead to death. Measles can be prevented with the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccine. Read everything about the MMR vaccine here.
2. Pertussis, Or Whooping Cough
Most common in young babies (less than a year old) and young infants, whooping cough is a lung infection that causes difficulty in breathing. It is airborne and can spread by a cough or sneeze from an infected person. The DTaP vaccine is effective in preventing whooping cough. Read everything about the DTaP vaccine here.
3. Pneumococcal Infection
A bacterial disease, this infection can result in pneumonia, blood infections, ear infections and also meningitis. PCV13 or Prevnar 13® offers protection against pneumococcal diseases. Read about PCV13 here.(Related Article: 10 Herbs To Fight Pneumonia Naturally)
Another bacterial infection, tetanus can result in painful tightening of muscles, spasms and breathing difficulties. The DTaP vaccine which protects against whooping cough also confers immunity against tetanus.
5. Meningococcal Diseases, Or Meningitis
Meningitis is a bacterial infection of the meninges in the brain, which can also infect the blood. It is a deadly disease that causes the brain to swell and can eventually lead to death. In the United States, two kinds of vaccines are available that protect against Neisseria meningitides: meningococcal polysaccharide vaccine (Menomune®), and meningococcal conjugate vaccine (Menactra®, Menveo® and MenHibrix®). Read about these vaccines here.
The most common infection that knocks on our door seasonally, flu can be prevented with just one shot. The vaccines usually confer immunity against two of the influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2) and an influenza B virus. Read all about the flu vaccine here. Here are nine tips to stay healthy during flu season. (Related Guide: Cold & Flu Season Guide To Good Health)