Babies are incredibly vulnerable to bacteria, infection and disease. This is why immunisation is so important to the short and long term health of the youngest members of our families.
As a mother, you’re not expected to know everything about immunisation but you should at least make know which diseases your baby needs to be vaccinated against.
With this in mind, the main types of immunization are as follows...
Measles - a common virus amongst young children that causes chest infections and in some cases brain damage.
Mumps - a virus that can affect the nervous system and cause inflammation of the salivary glands. In some cases it can lead to the potentially more serious meningitis virus.
Rubella - the rubella virus, or German measles as it’s sometimes called, causes a reddish rash, lumps on the back of the neck and a high temperature.
Meningitis - an infection and inflammation of the membranes (meninges) and fluids surrounding the brain and spinal cord, causing a high fever followed by a red rash. The disease can result in deafness, blindness, paralysis, loss of arms or legs, and sadly death.
Polio - a viral disease that can damage the nervous system and ultimately cause paralysis. Polio causes headaches, tiredness, fever and muscle pain , although sometimes there are not noticeable symptoms.
Tuberculosis (TB) - an infectious disease that usually attacks the lungs, but can attack almost any part of the body. TB can cause chronic weakening of the lungs, damage to other organs, and death.
Diphtheria - a contagious bacterial infection, affecting the nose, throat and skin. In more serious cases, it can attack the heart and nervous system causing coma, paralysis or even death.
Hib - hib, or haemophilius influenzae b as it’s medically known, is a serious bacterial infection that can lead to meningitis, pneumonia and septic arthritis.
Whooping cough - a bacterial infection that causes a mild fever, followed by sever coughing which can lead to vomiting and convulsions.
Tetanus - a disease that occurs when a wound becomes infected with bacteria spores spores called Clostridium tetani. These spores germinate and produce a potentially fatal poison which affects the muscles.
Can I have IVF treatment on the NHS?