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Globally, immunisation saves 3 million people (of all age groups) every year from diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and measles – but more than 1.5 million people still die due to lack of access to vaccines.
We believe in a world in which no one suffers or dies from a vaccine-preventable disease.

POLIOMYELITIS – ‘POLIO’

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Viral infection; affecting the central nervous system; usually leads to paralysis;
caused by the polio virus2

 

 

How it spreads
The virus spreads from human faeces through improperly washed hands onto objects, food and water that come into contact with the mouth2,4

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Asymptomatic
  • Low grade fever
  • Sore throat
  • Stiffness of the neck, back and/or legs
  • Severe muscle ache2

 

Complications

  • Paralysis
  • Aseptic meningitis (infection and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord)
  • Can lead to death2,4

VARICELLA - ‘CHICKENPOX’

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Viral infection; highly contagious; caused by varicella-zoster virus5

 

 

How it spreads

  • Touching
  • Breathing in the virus particles from chickenpox blisters
  • Tiny droplets from air6,7

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Itchy, fluid-filled blisters all over body
  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Headache6,7

 

Complications

  • Infection of the lungs11
  • Infection and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord4
  • Bleeding problems
  • Infection of the blood12
  • Dehydration

Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms: 10 – 21 days

PERTUSSIS - ‘WHOOPING COUGH’

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Bacterial infection; highly contagious; caused by Bordetella pertussis13

 

 

How it spreads
Only spread from person to person, through sneezing or coughing14

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Slowed or stopped breathing (skin may turn blue)16,17
  • Coughing fits followed by a high-pitched “whoop”
  • Vomiting after coughing18
  • Many, rapid coughs19

 

Complications
Babies and Children:11 Infection of the lungs, slowed or stopped breathing, violent and uncontrolled shaking, brain disease11,16
Teens and Adults:11Weight loss, loss of bladder control

Time between exposure to the bacteria and the development of signs and symptoms:8 5 – 10 days15

TUBERCULOSIS – ‘TB’

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Bacterial infection; caused by Mycobacterium tuberculosis21

 

 

How it spreads
TB of the lungs: through the air (e.g. speaking or coughing). Can be infectious

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Cough
  • Reduced playfulness, weakness or lethargy, failure to thrive
  • Weight loss
  • Fever and/or night sweats

 

Complications
Can spread through the whole body, which can lead to other organs being infected25

DIPHTHERIA

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Bacterial infection; caused by Corynebacterium diphtheriae; can cause a thick whitish covering at the back of the throat26

 

 

How it spreads
Spread via respiratory droplets through coughing, sneezing

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Weakness
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Swollen glands in the neck28

 

Complications

  • Blocking of the airway
  • Damage to the heart muscle
  • Nerve damage
  • Paralysis
  • Kidney failure
  • Can lead to death29

Time between exposure to the bacteria and the development of signs and symptoms:8 2 – 5 days27

TETANUS – ‘LOCKJAW’

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Bacterial infection; caused by Clostridium tetani and can cause painful muscle contractions30

 

 

How it spreads
Bacteria are found in soil, dust and manure and enter the body through cuts or puncture wounds31

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Headache
  • Jaw cramping
  • Muscle spasms – often in the stomach Muscle stiffness/pain
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Seizures (jerking or staring)
  • Fever and sweating
  • High blood pressure
  • Fast heart rate

 

Complications

  • Uncontrolled/involuntary tightening of the vocal cords
  • Broken bones
  • Infection of the lungs
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Can lead to death32

Time between exposure to the bacteria and the development of signs and symptoms:8 3 – 21 days31

ROTAVIRUS

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Viral infection; contagious and can cause gastroenteritis33

 

 

How it spreads
Children can spread it before and after they have diarrhoea
The virus spreads from human faeces through improperly washed hands onto objects, food and water that come into contact with the mouth2,3

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Severe watery diarrhoea,
  • vomiting,
  • fever,
  • abdominal pain,
  • loss of appetite,
  • dehydration

Signs of dehydration: decrease in urine, dry mouth and throat, dizziness when standing up. A child may cry, with few or no tears, be unusually fussy or sleepy36

 

Complications

  • Severe diarrhoea
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney and liver abnormalities

Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms:8 2 days36

Viral infection of the salivary glands that is contagious38

 

 

How it spreads
Infection spreads through saliva or mucus from the mouth, nose or throat.  Can spread through:

  • coughing,
  • sneezing,
  • sharing eating utensils or items with infected person

 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Tiredness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Swollen and tender salivary glands

 

Complications

  • Inflammation of the brain
  • Infection and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord4
  • Inflammation of the ovaries and/or inflammation of the breast tissue
  • Deafness

Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms:8 12 – 25 days40

HEPATITIS A

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Viral infection of the liver caused by Hepatitis A42

 

 

How it spreads43a
The virus spreads from human faeces through improperly washed hands onto objects, food and water that come into contact with the mouth2 and/or through contaminated food or water33

 

Signs and Symptoms
Fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, dark urine, clay-coloured stools, joint pain, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)44a

 

Complications43d
In rare cases, can cause:

  • Liver failure
  • Death.

Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms:8a pg 1 15 – 50 days43b 

HEPATITIS B

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Viral infection of the liver caused by Hepatitis B virus45

 

 

How it spreads45

  • Transmitted from person to person through body fluids
  • From infected mother to baby during birth
  • Through blood, blood products or contaminated materials

 

Signs and Symptoms45

  • Fever
  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea, vomiting
  • abdominal pain
  • dark urine
  • clay coloured stools
  • joint pain
  • jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes)44

 

Complications45

  • Permanent liver damage
  • Cancer of the liver

Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms:8 An average of 90 days45

RUBELLA – ‘GERMAN MEASLES’

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Viral infection that is contagious46

 

 

How it spreads47
Coughing or sneezing

 

Signs and Symptoms48

  • Low grade fever
  • Headache
  • Mild pink eye
  • General discomfort
  • Swollen and enlarged lymph nodes
  • Cough
  • Runny nose

 

Complications49

  • Brain infections
  • Bleeding problems
  • Serious birth defects can occur if a woman is infected during the first trimester of
    pregnancy

Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms:8 12 – 23 days46

MEASLES

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Viral infection; acute and can cause respiratory illness50

 

 

How it spreads50
Spread by droplets or by airborne means (coughing, breathing or sneezing) of infected person.  Remains infectious in the air for up to 2 hours after an infected person leaves the area

 

Signs and Symptoms50

  • Fever
  • General feeling of being ill
  • Cough
  • Rash spreading from the head to abdomen, to lower extremities
  • Tiny white spots inside the mouth51

 

Complications

  • Brain damage
  • Ear infections
  • Seizures (jerking or staring)
  • Infection of the lungs11
  • May lead to death

Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms:14 days50

INFLUENZA – ‘FLU’

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Viral infection that is contagious; caused by influenza virus53

 

 

How it spreads53

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Talking

 

Signs and Symptoms53

  • Feeling feverish/chills
  • cough
  • runny or stuffy nose
  • muscle or body aches
  • headache
  • tiredness

Common in children:

  • Vomiting
  • diarrhoea

 

Complications54

  • Infection of the lungs11
  • Inflammation of the heart
  • Inflammation of the brain
  • Ear infections
Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms:1 – 4 days53

MENINGOCOCCAL MENINGITIS

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Bacterial infection; caused by Neisseria meningitidis 55

 

 

How it spreads55
Spread through exchanging saliva during close contact (kissing or coughing), or lengthy contact like living in the same space (family or roommates)

 

Signs and Symptoms57

  • Sudden onset of fever
  • headache,
  • stiff neck,
  • nausea,
  • vomiting,
  • increased sensitivity to light,
  • altered mental status (confusion)

Newborns and infants:
May appear to be slow or inactive, irritable, vomiting, feeding poorly

 

Complications58,59

  • Nervous system problems
  • seizures
  • brain damage
  • learning disabilities,
  • amputation of limbs,
  • hearing loss

Time between exposure to the bacteria and the development of signs and symptoms:3 – 4 days56

HUMAN PAPILLOMAVIRUS - ‘HPV’

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Viral infection; caused by the Human papillomavirus60

 

 

How it spreads60

  • Sexual contact

 

Signs and Symptoms61
No specific symptoms of disease62

 

Complications60,61

  • Genital warts
  • Cervical cancer
  • Anal cancer
  • Penile cancer
  • Vaginal cancer

Time between exposure to the virus and the development of signs and symptoms:Variable61

HAEMOPHILUS INFLUENZAE TYPE B - ‘HIB’

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Severe bacterial infection; caused by Haemophilus influenzae type B. The Infection is common in infants63

 

 

How it spreads63
Passed through the area between the nose and throat

 

Signs and Symptoms63

  • Infection and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord4
  • Infection of the lungs11
  • Swelling in the throat that can block airflow65
  • Swollen, sore joints66
  • Bacterial skin infection (red, painful swelling)67

 

Complications63
May lead to death

Time between exposure to the bacteria and the development of signs and symptoms:8 Variable63,64

PNEUMOCOCCAL DISEASE

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Bacterial infection; caused by the Streptococcus pneumoniae 68

 

 

How it spreads69
Person to person through contact with bodily fluid/secretions (e.g. saliva and mucus)

 

Signs and Symptoms70
Infection of the lungs
Fast breathing, cough, chest pain, fever and chills
Infection and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord4
Stiff neck, headache, confusion, pain when looking into bright light. In babies, it may cause poor eating or drinking, low alertness, and vomiting
Infection of the middle ear
Ear pain, red, swollen ear drum, fever, sleepiness

 

Complications70

  • Infection and inflammation of the brain and spinal cord
  • Sinus and ear infections
  • Infection of the lungs
  • Infection of the blood


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