Vaccine-Preventable-Disease (VPD) Information

Vaccines prevent certain diseases from developing in yourself or your child. While many people do choose to vaccinate their child and themselves, there are still documented cases of outbreaks of vaccine-preventable-diseases (VPD) in California (link to Current California VPD Outbreak Info page) each year. Because we often don’t hear about these cases, we sometimes forget what VPD’s are capable of. You can find more information about each vaccine-preventable-disease, such as how common the disease is, how you can catch the disease and the serious health problems the disease can cause by clicking on the links below:

Chickenpox (also called varicella) is caused by a virus that causes a rash, itching, fever, and tiredness. While chickenpox is usually a mild illness, it also can lead to severe skin infections, scars, pneumonia, brain damage, or death.
Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death.
Haemophilus influenzae
type b (Hib)
is a bacteria that can cause serious problems including meningitis (an infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), brain damage, deafness, pneumonia, infections of the blood, joints, bone, and heart covering, and death.
Hepatitis A is a serious liver disease that is usually spread by close personal contact or by eating contaminated food or water. Hepatitis A can cause mild, “flu-like” illness, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), and severe stomach pains and diarrhea.
Hepatitis B is another serious liver disease that can cause short-term (acute) illness and may lead to appetite loss, diarrhea, vomiting, fatigue, jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), and/or pain in muscles, joints, and stomach. It also can cause long-term (chronic) illness that leads to liver damage (cirrhosis), liver cancer, and death.
Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease. It is caused by the influenza virus, which spreads from person to person through coughing or sneezing. Influenza can lead to pneumonia and can be dangerous for young children and people with heart or breathing conditions.
Measles virus causes a rash, cough, runny nose, eye irritation, and fever. It can lead to ear infections, pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and even death.
Mumps virus causes fever, headache, and swollen glands. It can lead to deafness, meningitis (infection of the brain and spinal cord covering), painful swelling of the testicles or ovaries, and, rarely, death.
Pertussis also called whooping cough) causes coughing spells so bad that it is hard for infants to eat, drink, or breathe. These spells can last for weeks. It can lead to pneumonia, seizures (jerking and staring spells), brain damage, and death.
Polio is a disease caused by a virus which can cause paralysis (cannot move arms or legs). It can kill people who get it, usually by paralyzing the muscles that help them breathe.
Pneumococcal
disease
is the leading cause of bacterial meningitis in the United States. It causes many health problems in children under 5, including meningitis, blood infections, and ear infections. Pneumococcal disease is responsible for about 200 deaths each year among children under 5 years old.
Rubella (German Measles) is caused by a virus that usually leads to mild fever and a rash. However, if a woman gets rubella while she is pregnant, she could have a miscarriage or her baby could be born with serious birth defects.
Rotavirus is a virus that causes severe diarrhea, mostly in babies and young children. It is often accompanied by vomiting and fever. Rotavirus is not the only cause of severe diarrhea, but it is one of the most serious.
Tetanus (also called Lockjaw) causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to “locking” of the jaw so the person cannot open their mouth or swallow. Tetanus can lead to death.