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Vaccine-Preventable Diseases: Which Still Most Deadly for Children?


More than 100 million children per year now are immunized against vaccine preventable diseases. But 6 of these infections still claim hundreds of thousands of lives-can you spot them in a line-up?

In an ideal world, no child would die of a vaccine-preventable disease. Think of the diseases we routinely inoculate against in the United States: diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, Haemophilus influenzae type B (HIB), pneumococcus, measles, mumps, rubella, influenza, mennigococcus, hepatitis A and B, and HPV. We also have vaccines for typhoid fever, rabies, and yellow fever.

More children than ever before are being reached with immunization: more than 100 million children a year from 2005 to 2007. And for the first time in documented history, the number of children worldwide that die every year has fallen below 10 million-the result of improved access to clean water and sanitation, increased immunization coverage, and the integrated delivery of essential health interventions.

Even so, the world is still far from ideal. Hundreds of thousands of children under the age of 5 years still die every year as a result of diseases we know how to stop.

Below is a list of 10 of the 26 known vaccine-preventable diseases. Can you identify the 6 that today are responsible for the largest number of deaths among young children?

1.  Haemophilus influenzae type B  

2.  Pneumococcus

3.  Measles

4.  Tetanus

5.  Mumps

6.  Pertussis

7.  Rotavirus

8.  Diphtheria 

9.  Meningococcus

10. Influenza

Please leave your choices/comments below.

For the answer, ranking of the top 6, and short discussions of each vaccine, CLICK HERE.

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