Any disease that can ravage and kill a population is one that we should do everything we can to prevent. Unfortunately, we often do not do it until after the damage is done … if even then. Here are a few of the diseases you may want to protect yourself against. Many diseases are harder on adults than on children.
1) Measles : There are several risk factors if you contract measles. One you may not have thought of is blindness. This disease can rob you of vision, even if you take the precaution of not using them while you are ill. The best hope for preventing much damage is to stay in a dimly lit room without television, books or any other visual means of amusement, usually for quite some time. The second risk factor is worse … it can kill you.
2) Rubella : This is also called German measles and three day measles, though the two are not related. It is usually a mild disease, a slight rash and a touch of fever being the main symptoms. The problem is catching it during pregnancy. If it is done during pregnancy … especially the first trimester … it can cause miscarriage and serious birth defects. It is also very easily transmitted.
3) Polio : I may be a bit premature in suggesting you update your polio vaccines, but I have good reasons. Several areas, including parts of Eastern Europe and Africa are having serious problems with the disease. Those areas are a long way from the US, but all it takes is one or two people on an airplane under the right circumstances and that problem will be transmitted to us. This is such a devastating disease, getting protection is a small price to pay.
4) Tetanus : This disease has become so rare in the US that many doctors have never seen a case. This makes diagnosis difficult and often too late. While it typically is transmitted by something causing a puncture wound, that wound may not be noticed … once again until it is too late.
5) Whooping Cough : This disease is easier on adults and older children who catch it, but it is by no means a picnic even then. The cough comes from deep in the lungs and can make the muscles in the area very tender.
What's worse is if an infant catches it. They are not strong enough for the intense coughing episodes and die painfully within a short time of catching it. It is considered epidemiological in several states, and protecting our children should be an imperative.
There is good news. You do not have to have five shots to be protected, just two. TDAP will cover tetanus, diphtheria and whooping cough and the MMR will cover measles, mumps and rubella. Talk to your doctor about these immunizations and ask if there are others recommended in your area. It is much better to be safe than sorry.