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  Fatal Diseases - Preventive Vaccination

Tetanus, polio, diphtheria, whooping cough, T.B. and measles are fatal diseases. Even if the child survives, there is a risk that the disease might permanently damage him.


    Diphtheria is a fatal disease. It chokes the throat and disturbs the activity of the heart.


    The nose and lips develop a yellow-greyish layer on the surface. The child's neck swells and his/her breath develops a foul odour. The child becomes weak, looks ill and breathes with difficulty.


    It is a contagious disease, which calls for keeping the patient in a separate room, away from other members of the family. The patient should gargle with saline hot water. The disease can be controlled if the child is given three D.P.T. doses at required intervals.

Whooping cough:

    It is a respiratory disease. It is highly contagious and spreads through coughing or sneezing.


     This disease starts with a cold, cough, fever and runny nose. It can take a serious turn within two weeks. The child coughs continuously. The coughing sound of the child resembles the barking of a dog. At times the child also vomits while coughing. Due to the continuous coughing, the child's eyes develop a swelling.


     To protect children from whooping cough, keep them away from infected children.


     Children below one year of age are the main victims of this disease. It often spreads from germs in the stool of an infected child. The germs can also spread through air and consumption of unwashed foods. Places, where people defecate in the open, can be another source of polio.


     It starts with a cold, cough and fever, accompanied by vomiting and body ache. Gradual weakness prevails in a particular part of the body, resulting in the thinning of that portion. The growth of that body part stops ultimately.


     Vaccination is the only preventive measure for this disease. Take your children to the nearest healthcare centre for three doses of polio vaccine. Once infected, keep the patient separate from the other members of the family. Give healthy food to the child and try to keep the affected portion as straight as possible.


     A newborn gets infected with tetanus for two reasons, either the mother was not vaccinated for tetanus during pregnancy or the child's umbilical cord was cut with an old knife or blade.


     The tetanus symptoms become evident within 3-10 days of childbirth. The baby finds difficulty in swallowing anything and its naval starts smelling. Stiffness occurs in the lower jaw and gradually spreads all over the body.


     Once the symptoms of tetanus surface, rush to the hospital without fail. Clean the wound with soap. If the baby is capable of eating, continue feeding it at short intervals.


     This disease is popularly known as "Chhoti Mata". Children of the age group of 1-10 are the victims of this disease.


     Disease begins with a cold, runny nose, reddish eyes and high fever. Fever subsides in 3-4 days but the whole body develops small spots. The whole process takes around 10 days. It can also cause loose-motions.


     Measles can be fatal if proper care is not taken. The child can die of pneumonia, which is a serious complication of measles. The measles vaccine is very effective. It is given in one dose (at the age of 9 months) and protects the child from the disease completely. If a child has not been vaccinated till the age of 3 and has not yet had measles, it is advisable that the child be vaccinated even at this stage.
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