April 13, 2015
Diphtheria is a throat infection which can lead to breathing difficulties. The illness is very rare in countries with an immunisation programme.
Tetanus is a serious infectious disease caused by bacteria usually found in the soil.
Whooping cough (pertussis) is a highly infectious disease that is spread by coughing and sneezing. It’s caused by bacteria which damage the breathing tubes.
Polio has disappeared from New Zealand and most parts of the world as a result of immunisation. The Western Pacific region was declared polio free in 2000. However, polio is spreading in some overseas countries and could be brought into New Zealand by travellers and immigrants. It’s important that New Zealand children and international travellers continue to be immunised against polio.
Hepatitis B is caused by a virus which attacks and damages the liver. It was a common disease in New Zealand until a vaccine was introduced in the 1980s.
Hib is a bacteria which causes serious illness in young children. Hib disease has almost disappeared since the vaccine programme was introduced.
Hib was the most common cause of life-threatening bacterial infection in children under 5 years old. Before the vaccine, 1 in every 350 children had the disease before they were 5 years old.