Child immunization is an exceptionally effective way to prevent the spread of disease. Nevertheless, it is crucial to remember that immunizations do not guarantee that your child will not become infected with the virus. There are many types of virus mutations that are incessantly changing which makes it impossible to immunize against every type of mutation. The following is information on some of the immunizations available. Hepatitis A- This vaccine protects against the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A is a severe liver disease. HAV is found in feces and is most commonly transmitted through close contact- eating contaminated food or drinking contaminated water. The hepatitis A vaccine should be given when your child is between 12-24 months.
Hepatitis B- The hepatitis B vaccine protects against the hepatitis B virus (HBV). HBV can cause short-term illnesses such as vomiting and diarrhea and jaundice to chronic illnesses such as liver failure, cancer of the liver and death. HBV is transmitted through blood and body fluids. Children ought to get 3 doses of the hepatitis B vaccine; the first at birth, the second at 2 months and the final dose between 6 and 18 months.
DTaP- DTap is short for diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. These three diseases are caused by bacteria. Diphtheria is a dangerous and even life threatening throat infection. A thick covering is found in the back of the throat that is capable of causing breathing problems, heart failure and death. Tetanus is bacteria found in dirt. Tetanus causes the muscle to painfully tighten, occasionally causing lockjaw which tightens the jaw muscles not allowing the jaw to open. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a bacterial illness that causes deathly coughing spells. These coughing spells can be so severe that children can have a difficult time eating, drinking or breathing. Diphtheria and pertussis are transmitted from human to human while tetanus enters the body through wounds. Children should get the DTaP vaccine in five doses given at 2, 4 and 6 months and again between 12-18 months and 4-6 years.
MMR- Measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) are viruses that are spread in the air. All three of the diseases are protected against with the MMR vaccine. Measles can cause coughing, runny nose, rashes, fever, and irritation in the eye. This disease may cause pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. Mumps causes painful swelling in the salivary glands, fever and headache. Mumps can also cause meningitis, deafness, painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries sometimes resulting in infertility, and death. Rubella, also known as German measles, can cause swollen glands, low-grade fever, joint pain and rash. Miscarriage and serious birth defects can occur if a pregnant woman becomes infected.
MMR vaccinations should be given 2 times: once between 12-15 months and another between 4-6 years.
Varicella- Varicella- more frequently referred to as chickenpox- is a disease that can be spread through the air or through contact with fluid from chickenpox blisters. The varicella vaccine protects against chickenpox. Chickenpox causes fever, rash and itching and may lead to pneumonia, scars, brain damage and death. Chickenpox can be serious in infants and adults and mild in children. The primary dose of the vaccine should be given when children are between 12-15 months and the second at 4-6 years.
Influenza- Influenza vaccine protects against the flu. Fever, chills, sore throat, muscle and headache are some of the symptoms of the flu. For most people, these symptoms only last a few days. The flu has been known to cause high fevers and seizures in children. Children from 6 months to 5 years old are at greater risk of the flu and should therefore be vaccinated every year.
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