Who Is at Risk From Unvaccinated Kids?
Symptoms & Dangers
Last month a new bill was filed in the Texas House of Representatives which aims to make getting vaccine exemptions easier.
The goal of House bill 1490 is to make it easier to claim an exemption from required vaccines for public school students. The bill would also make it easier for parents and guardians to get access to those forms by making them available online.
If the bill passes, it will prevent the Texas Department of State Health Services from maintaining records on those vaccine exemptions, this would make it harder to know just how many forms were filed if an outbreak happened.
Since 2003 it’s legal for Texans to choose not to vaccinate their children, and we respect your choice, however, at Prestige ER, we believe that when presented with the opportunity to prevent illness, parents should do so rather than deal with the potential complications of a disease.
Why Are Vaccinations Important
Parents have a natural instinct to keep their children safe and healthy, and vaccinations are a great way to do just that.
Choosing to vaccinate your children protects them from severe illnesses and potential complications which could result in:
- Limb paralysis
- Hearing loss
- Brain damage
- Amputation of an arm or leg
There are recommended vaccinations for every stage of life, but they are vital for children because they help boost the immune system before children are exposed to potentially life-threatening diseases.
Several health organizations including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Family Physicians, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention all strongly support protecting children with recommended vaccinations.
The Most Important Vaccines
This is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the respiratory system including the lungs. It can cause pneumonia, brain swelling, and death.
There is a current measles outbreak in the US, the CDC reported 268 confirmed cases during January through March 2019 in 12 states. According to data analysis from the Washington Post, the number of cases could mean the US is facing the worst measles outbreak since 1992.
The symptoms will appear between 10-14 days after exposure to the virus and typically include:
- Dry Cough
- Runny Nose
- Sore Throat
- Conjunctivitis (inflamed eyes)
- Tiny white spots with bluish-white centers on a red background found inside the mouth on the inner lining of the cheek — also called Koplik’s spots
- A skin rash made up of large, flat blotches that often flow into one another
Whooping Cough (Pertussis)
Pertussis commonly known as whooping cough is a lung infection that makes it hard to breathe due to severe coughing.
The infection can be life-threatening especially for infants under a year old, it can lead to pneumonia, seizures, and it can slow or stop a child’s breathing.
Typically, symptoms start manifesting 7-10 days after exposure. At the onset they are mild and resemble the signs of a common cold:
- Runny Nose
- Nasal Congestion
- Red, Watery Eyes
After one or two weeks the symptoms start to worsen. Thick mucus accumulates in the airways causing uncontrollable coughing which could lead to:
- Result in a Red or Blue Face
- Cause Extreme Fatigue
- End with a High-Pitched “Whoop” Sound
You should seek immediate medical attention if you notice any of the above symptoms
This bacterial infection is responsible for many types of illnesses including pneumonia, ear and blood infections, and meningitis which affects the brain and spinal cord.
Complication from the bacterial infection can be fatal.
Symptoms and complications depend on the part of the body that is infected.
Symptoms of Pneumococcal Pneumonia
- Fever and Chills
- Rapid Breathing or Difficulty Breathing
- Chest Pain
Symptoms of Pneumococcal Meningitis
- Stiff Neck
- Photophobia (Light Sensitivity)
In babies, meningitis may cause poor eating and drinking, low alertness, and vomiting.
Symptoms of Pneumococcal Bacteremia (Blood Infection)
- Low Alertness
Symptoms of Middle Ear Infections (Otitis Media) Caused by Pneumococcus Bacteria
- Ear Pain
- A Red, Swollen Ear Drum
You should seek emergency medical attention at the first sign of sepsis, which is a complication caused by the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to an infection, which can lead to tissue damage, organ failure, and death.
- Confusion or Disorientation
- Shortness of Breath
- High Heart Rate
- Fever, Shivering or Feeling Very Cold
- Extreme Pain or Discomfort
- Clammy or Sweaty Skin
Tetanus is a bacterial disease that affects the nervous system leading to painful muscle contractions. It causes lockjaw, breathing problems, muscle spasms, paralysis; and 10% to 20% of tetanus cases are fatal. Deaths are more common in people who are older than 60 or who have diabetes.
The average incubation period is 7-10 days after the bacteria has entered the body through a wound.
Common signs and symptoms of tetanus include:
- Spasms and Stiffness in the Jaw Muscles (trismus)
- Stiffness in the Neck Muscles
- Difficulty Swallowing
- Stiffness of the Abdominal Muscles
- Painful Body Spasms Lasting for Several Minutes (typically triggered by minor occurrences, such as a draft, loud noise, physical touch or light)
A severe liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV), in some people the disease can become chronic meaning it could last more than six months. Chronic hepatitis B infections increase the risk of developing liver failure, liver cancer or cirrhosis.
The symptoms range from mild to severe and usually appear between one and four months after being infected, but they could manifest as early as two weeks after infection.
Hepatitis B signs and symptoms may include:
- Abdominal Pain
- Dark Urine
- Joint Pain
- Loss of Appetite
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Weakness and Fatigue
- Yellowing of the Skin and the Whites of the Eyes (jaundice)
A viral infection that primarily affects the salivary glands located near the ears. The disease can lead to meningitis and cause long-term health problems including deafness and sterility in men.
Not all patients develop signs or symptoms, and for some these are mild. Symptoms typically appear within two or three weeks after exposure to the virus.
- Painful Swollen Salivary Glands (On one or both sides of the face)
- Pain While Chewing or Swallowing
- Muscle Aches
- Weakness and Fatigue
- Loss of Appetite
At Prestige ER we are serious about our public health commitment to the community, we work hard every day and night to provide the highest standard of emergency medical treatment to you and your family. If you suspect your child might have contracted an infectious disease, please don’t hesitate to bring them to our center for evaluation.
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