At a Glance

Vaccine-preventable disease levels are at or near record lows. Even though most infants and toddlers have received all recommended vaccines by age 2, many under-immunized children remain, leaving the potential for outbreaks of disease. Many adolescents and adults are under-immunized as well, missing opportunities to protect themselves against diseases such as Hepatitis B, influenza, and pneumococcal disease. CDC works closely with public health agencies and private partners to improve and sustain immunization coverage and to monitor the safety of vaccines so that this public health success story can be maintained and expanded in the century to come. Click on the question to expand the information on each disease.

Anthrax

What is Anthrax?

Anthrax is a serious infectious disease caused by gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria known as Bacillus anthracis. Anthrax can be found naturally in soil and commonly affects domestic and wild animals around the world. Although it is rare, people can get sick with anthrax if they come in contact with infected animals or contaminated animal products.
Contact with anthrax can cause severe illness in both humans and animals. Anthrax is not contagious, which means you can’t catch it like the cold or flu. For more information from the CDC here.

Diphtheria

What is Diphtheria?

Diphtheria causes a thick covering in the back of the throat. It can lead to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure, and even death. There are several combination vaccines used to prevent diphtheria: DTaP, Tdap, DT, and Td.

Diphtheria once was a major cause of illness and death among children. The U.S. recorded 206,000 cases of diphtheria in 1921, resulting in 15,520 deaths. Before there was treatment for diphtheria, up to half of the people who got the disease died from it.

Starting in the 1920s, diphtheria rates dropped quickly in the U.S. and other countries that began widely vaccinating. In the past decade, there were less than five cases of diphtheria in the U.S. reported to CDC. However, the disease continues to play a role globally. In 2011, 4,887 cases of diphtheria were reported to the World Health Organization (WHO), but there are likely many more cases. For more information click  here.

Hepatitis A

What is Hepatitis A?

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV). Hepatitis A can affect anyone. Vaccines are available for long-term prevention of HAV infection in persons 1 year of age and older. Good personal hygiene and proper sanitation can also help prevent the spread of hepatitis A. For more information from the CDC click here.

Hepatitis B

What is Hepatitis B?

Hepatitis B is a serious disease caused by a virus that attacks the liver. The virus, which is called hepatitis B virus (HBV), can cause lifelong infection, cirrhosis (scarring) of the liver, liver cancer, liver failure, and death.
Hepatitis B vaccine is available for all age groups to prevent HBV infection. For more information from the CDC here.

Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)

What is Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib)?

Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine prevents meningitis (an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord), pneumonia (lung infection), epiglottitis (a severe throat infection), and other serious infections caused by a type of bacteria called Haemophilus influenzae type b. It is recommended for all children younger than 5 years old in the US, and it is usually given to infants starting at 2 months old. In certain situations, patients at increased risk for invasive Hib disease who are fully vaccinated need additional doses of Hib vaccine and unimmunized older children, adolescents, and adults with certain specified medical conditions should receive Hib vaccine. The Hib vaccine can be combined with other vaccines. Some brands of vaccine contain Hib along with other vaccines in a single shot. Hib vaccine can safely be combined with other vaccines to make these combination vaccines. For more information from the CDC here.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

What is Human Papillomavirus (HPV)?

 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a common virus that is spread through sexual contact. Most of the time HPV has no symptoms so people do not know they have it.

There are approximately 40 types of genital HPV. Somes types can cause cervical cancer in women and can also cause other kinds of cancer in both men and women. Other types can cause genital warts in both males and females. The HPV vaccine works by preventing the most common types of HPV that cause cervical cancer and genital warts. It is given as a 3-dose vaccine. For more information from the CDC here.

 

 

Seasonal Influenza

What is Seasonal Influenza (Flu)?

 

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness. Serious outcomes of flu infection can result in hospitalization or death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year.

The upcoming season's flu vaccine will protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the season. This includes an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one or two influenza B viruses, depending on the flu vaccine. For more information from the CDC here.

 

 

Japanese Encephalitis (JE)

What is Japanese Encephalitis (JE)?

Japanese encephalitis (JE) is a potentially severe disease. JE is caused by a virus spread by infected mosquitoes in Asia and the western Pacific. JE virus is one of a group of mosquito-transmitted viruses that can cause inflammation of the brain (encephalitis). For more information from the CDC here.

Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?

 Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks. Laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.

The vaccine for Lyme disease is no longer available. It was discontinued by the manufacturer in 2002, citing low demand. People who were previously vaccinated with the LD vaccine are no longer protected. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, landscaping, and integrated pest management. For more information from the CDC here.

 

 

Measles

What is Measles?

 

Measles is a very contagious infection that causes a rash all over your body. It is also called rubeola or red measles.

Measles is the most deadly of all childhood rash/fever illnesses. The disease spreads very easily, so it is important to protect against infection. To prevent measles, children (and some adults) should be vaccinated with the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine. Two doses of this vaccine are needed for complete protection. Children should be given the first dose of MMR vaccine at 12 to 15 months of age. The second dose can be given 4 weeks later, but is usually given before the start of kindergarten at 4 to 6 years of age. For more information from the CDC here.

 

 

Meningococcal

What is Meningococcal Disease?

Meningococcal disease is caused by the bacterium Neisseria meningitis, also called meningococcus. About 10% of people have this type of bacteria in the back of their nose and throat with no signs or symptoms of disease, called being 'a carrier'. But sometimes Neisseria meningitis bacteria can invade the body causing certain illnesses, which are known as meningococcal disease. For more information from the CDC here.

This vaccine is now mandatory for students entering 7th grade in Nevada. For more information, visit our Special Immunization Projects page and click on School Requirements.

Monkeypox

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that occurs mainly in the rain forest countries of central and west Africa. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox. In Africa, people who got the smallpox vaccine in the past had a lower risk of monkeypox. CDC has sent out guidelines explaining when smallpox vaccine should be used to protect against monkeypox. For example, people taking care of pets or someone infected with monkeypox should think about getting vaccinated. For more information from the CDC here.

Mumps

What is Mumps?

Mumps is a contagious disease that is caused by the mumps virus. Mumps typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, and is followed by swelling of salivary glands. Anyone who is not immune from either previous mumps infection or from vaccination can get mumps. For more information from the CDC here.

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

What is Pertussis (Whooping Cough)?

Whooping cough — known medically as pertussis — is a highly contagious respiratory tract infection. Although it initially resembles an ordinary cold, whooping cough may eventually turn more serious, particularly in infants. The best way to prevent it is through vaccinations. The childhood vaccine is called DTaP. The whooping cough booster vaccine for adolescents and adults is called Tdap. Both DTaP and Tdap protect against whooping cough, tetanus, and diphtheria. For more information from the CDC here.

Pneumococcal Disease

What is Pneumococcal Disease?

Pneumococcal disease is an infection caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, sometimes referred to as pneumococcus. Pneumococcus can cause many types of illnesses, including ear infections and meningitis. For more information from the CDC here.

Poliomyelitis (Polio)

What is Poliomyelitis (Polio)?

Polio is an infectious disease caused by a virus that lives in the throat and intestinal tract. It is most often spread through person-to-person contact with the stool of an infected person and may also be spread through oral/nasal secretions. Polio used to be very common in the United States and caused severe illness in thousands of people each year before polio vaccine was introduced in 1955. Most people infected with the polio virus have no symptoms; however, for the less than 1% who develop paralysis it may result in permanent disability and even death. For more information from the CDC here.

Rabies

What is Rabies?

Rabies is a deadly virus that attacks the CNS (central nervous system) and causes acute encephalitis. It is transmitted from animals to humans (zoonotic), most commonly by animal bites - although, there have been cases of humans becoming infected in bat caves after breathing in the air. Rabies infection is nearly always fatal unless prompt treatment is administered before symptoms begin. For more information from the CDC here.

Rotavirus

What is Rotavirus?

Rotavirus is a virus that infects the intestinal tract of almost all young children by age 5. Children can get rotavirus more than once, but the first infection is usually the worst. This infection causes stomach upset and diarrhea. For more information from the CDC here.

Rubella (German Measles)

What is Rubella (German Measles)?

Rubella, also known as German measles, is an infectious disease caused by the rubella virus. The virus passes from person-to-person via droplets in the air expelled when infected people cough or sneeze - the virus may also be present in the urine, feces and on the skin. The hallmark symptoms of rubella are an elevated body temperature and a pink rash. For more information from the CDC here.

Shingles

What is Shingles?

Shingles is a painful localized skin rash often with blisters that is caused by the varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. Anyone who has had chickenpox can develop shingles because VZV remains in the nerve cells of the body after the chickenpox infection clears and VZV can reappear years later causing shingles. Shingles most commonly occurs in people 50 years old or older, people who have medical conditions that keep the immune system from working properly, or people who receive immunosuppressive drugs. For more information from the CDC here.

Smallpox

What is Smallpox?

 

Smallpox is a serious, contagious, and sometimes fatal infectious disease. There is no specific treatment for smallpox disease, and the only prevention is vaccination. The pox part of smallpox is derived from the Latin word for “spotted” and refers to the raised bumps that appear on the face and body of an infected person.

There are two clinical forms of smallpox. Variola major is the severe and most common form of smallpox, with a more extensive rash and higher fever. There are four types of variola major smallpox: ordinary (the most frequent type, accounting for 90% or more of cases); modified (mild and occurring in previously vaccinated persons); flat; and hemorrhagic (both rare and very severe). Historically, variola major has an overall fatality rate of about 30%; however, flat and hemorrhagic smallpox usually are fatal. Variola minor is a less common presentation of smallpox, and a much less severe disease, with death rates historically of 1% or less. For more information from the CDC here.

 

 

Tetanus (Lockjaw)

What is Tetanus (Lockjaw)?

Tetanus (lockjaw) is a serious disease that causes painful tightening of the muscles, usually all over the body. It can lead to "locking" of the jaw so the victim cannot open his mouth or swallow. Tetanus leads to death in about 1 in 10 cases. For more information from the CDC here.

Tuberculosis

What is Tuberculosis?

TB is a disease caused by a bacterium called Mycobacterium tuberculosis. The bacteria usually attack the lungs, but TB bacteria can attack any part of the body such as the kidney, spine, and brain. If not treated properly, TB disease can be fatal. TB disease was once the leading cause of death in the United States. For more information from the CDC here.

Typhoid Fever

What is Typhoid Fever?

Typhoid fever is a life-threatening illness caused by the bacterium Salmonella Typhi. In the United States, it is estimated that approximately 5,700 cases occur annually. Most cases (up to 75%) are acquired while traveling internationally. Typhoid fever is still common in the developing world, where it affects about 21.5 million persons each year. For more information from the CDC here.

Varicella (Chickenpox)

What is Varicella (Chickenpox)?

Chickenpox (varicella) is a contagious illness that causes an itchy rash and red spots or blisters (pox) all over the body. Chickenpox can cause problems for pregnant women, newborns, teens and adults, and people who have immune system problems that make it hard for the body to fight infection. For more information from the CDC here.

Yellow Fever

What is Yellow Fever?

Yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas in South America and Africa. The virus is transmitted to humans by the bite of an infected mosquito. Yellow fever is a very rare cause of illness in U.S. travelers. Illness ranges in severity from a self-limited febrile illness to severe liver disease with bleeding. Yellow fever disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings, laboratory testing, and travel history, including the possibility of exposure to infected mosquitoes. There is no specific treatment for yellow fever; care is based on symptoms. Steps to prevent yellow fever virus infection include using insect repellent, wearing protective clothing, and getting vaccinated. For more information from the CDC here.
Last Updated: 9/14/2016