Undeniably, the vaccine is one of the greatest medical inventions in human history.
From the introduction of the first vaccine to prevent pox in the 19th century, until a series of flu vaccines are constantly being updated every year, injections have helped millions of people develop their abilities. immune to diseases, once a tool of past gods.
Thanks to the vaccine, many infectious diseases such as smallpox and polio have been wiped out or almost wiped out completely in the world. Viruses exist only in some laboratories for scientific purposes.
If you wonder what the vaccine has done for us, here are 6 dangerous diseases that the shots have protected you:
1. Smallpox: The disease once wiped out thousands of people at once
Smallpox is caused by variola, a virus that can easily spread in the air. Smallpox is characterized by rashes on the face and body, then nodules turn into pustules and crust.
The disease is particularly dangerous by the variola virus that can attack the immune system directly and cause rapid death.
In the 17th century history, when European colonists began invading America, they brought smallpox to the new continent. Here, the variola virus has killed 30% of the infected population.
In 1796, Dr. Edward Jenner discovered that humans can be immune to smallpox, after we inject a virus similar to variola but less harmful. Jenner's experiments led to the introduction of the world's first vaccine doses.
In the next century, developed countries have practiced very good vaccination to prevent smallpox. In 1972, the United States declared a complete elimination of the disease. Less than a decade later, the World Health Organization declared smallpox was wiped out all over the world.
So far, smallpox is still the only disease that people have wiped out on a global scale.
2. Polio: The disease leaves behind sequelae for life
Polio is caused by viruses that live inside the throat and human intestines. One in four people infected with the virus has a flu-like symptom. In particular, a smaller percentage of patients progress to severe conditions such as full paralysis and respiratory failure.
The polio virus is directed at the brain, destroying motor control nerves. Some patients cannot even control the diaphragm to breathe. They will have to get into a giant machine called iron. The machine that helps them breathe.
In a single outbreak in 1952, more than 3,000 children in the United States died of polio. The death rate of the disease is so high that insurance companies start selling paralytic services to parents with newborn babies.
Polio virus easily spreads quickly through the mouth. Children are the most susceptible when the virus spreads in places like public swimming pools and daycare centers. In the epidemic of polio in the US, authorities had to shut down schools, cinemas and amusement parks. Children are recommended to stay at home and not play with each other.
But by 1955, a type of polio vaccine was successfully developed. The full practice of vaccination helped the United States eradicate polio in 1979. The last case of polio in the United States was recorded in the early 1990s, even the patient was ill abroad.
According to the World Health Organization, only 3 countries have recorded cases of new polio including: Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
3. Diphtheria: A nightmare in the early 20th century
In the United States alone, diphtheria affected more than 200,000 people in 1921 and killed about 15,520 people in the same year.
The disease manifests itself with symptoms such as sore throat, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes. Then, the patient's throat is filled with a gray mucus. If diphtheria bacteria infect the blood, it can secrete toxins that cause permanent nerve damage and heart failure.
Diphtheria spreads when an infected person sneezes or coughs, releases saliva that carries bacteria on objects or surfaces. In the 1900s, the disease raged in densely populated city areas.
By the 1920s, diphtheria vaccine was successfully developed. But since then, the disease has been controlled and is no longer a big concern. In the past 10 years, the United States has recorded only 5 cases of diphtheria.
However, in some developing countries diphtheria is still a problem, when children are not fully vaccinated.
CDC recommends that children should receive 4 doses of diphtheria vaccine, then repeat it every 10 years to ensure safety.
4. Mumps: The disease can cause infertility for men
Mumps is a respiratory disease caused by paramyxovirus. Like many other viruses, paramyxovirus is spread by mouth, when exposed to infected saliva. Before the vaccine was introduced, each year in the United States alone there were about 186,000 people infected.
A person with mumps will have symptoms characterized by salivary gland swelling. Swelling in the jaw area makes eating difficult and painful, thereby weakening the patient.
Mumps is generally not fatal, but some patients will suffer lifelong complications such as hearing loss. About 20-30% of young men with swollen testicles can cause infertility later.
The mumps vaccine was introduced in 1967. Since then the incidence has dropped by 99%. In the United States there are only a few hundred mumps cases each year.
5. Measles and many serious complications
Measles (also known as rubeola) attacks the respiratory system and other body organs. A person infected with measles will develop flu-like symptoms, such as fever, runny nose. In addition, there will be red rashes floating throughout the body.
Measles can lead to more serious complications such as blindness, brain damage and even death.
In the late 1950s, an estimated 3 million Americans were infected with measles each year. Of that total, about 48,000 people were hospitalized due to complications and about 400 to 500 people died from the disease.
Measles is highly contagious, it can be transmitted through the air, when talking or when touching surfaces that people with measles have touched a few hours before. The incubation period is up to 2 weeks, during which time, people carrying the virus can spread them in a very large range.
By 2000, the CDC declared measles had been wiped out of the United States. However, in the recent years, with the rise of anti-vax movement, measles is returning to attack the United States.
Health experts recommend parents fully vaccinate their children. Measles can be completely prevented with 2 doses of MMR vaccine, a vaccine that protects both mumps and rubella. .
6. Rubella leads to brain damage and birth defects in newborns
Rubella symptoms (also known as German measles) are similar to measles, though somewhat lighter. People with rubella often have red rash, pink eyes and mild fever, although up to 50% of infected people have no symptoms at all.
In 1964, nearly 12.5 million people in the US had rubella. The disease caused nearly 11,000 women to miscarry or premature. Children born to rubella-infected mothers also suffer from many defects such as cataracts, hearing loss, developmental delay and heart defects.
By the 1960s, the rubella vaccine was newly developed. The New York Times reported in 2015 that rubella had been wiped out of the Western hemisphere. In the next few years, the World Health Organization aims to erase this disease globally.