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revised April 04, 2011
State of the Region's Health Report: Focus on Suicide

Arrow BulletChapter 2 - Vaccine-Preventable Diseases

Vaccine preventable diseases are caused by viruses and bacteria. Nearly all of the organisms in this group are highly contagious and can be spread through a cough or sneeze of an infected person. Tetanus and polio are spread by different means. Tetanus is caused by a wound contaminated with bacteria commonly found in soil. Polio is a highly contagious virus spread by infected feces. Immunization for measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, polio and tetanus is mandatory for school-aged children in Ontario. Prior to universal vaccination, tetanus and polio infected a large proportion of the population and caused considerable illness and death, especially in children.

Outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases have occurred in developed countries when immunization rates have declined (eg. Diphtheria outbreak in the Soviet Union in 1994). Because of high immunization rates, some diseases (diphtheria, tetanus and polio) are currently so rare in Peel that they are not included in this report. Influenza immunization is universally available in Ontario, but is voluntary. Most people are not immunized for influenza and therefore incidence remains high.

Chapter 2 - Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (PDF 55KB, 7 pages)


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Revised: April 04, 2011

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