Many life-threatening diseases are almost non-existent in western countries because of immunizations. They start right after birth and many are given throughout a baby's first 23 months. Booster shots occur throughout life.
Chickenpox is a common childhood disease. It causes an itchy, blistering rash and is easily spread to others.
Diphtheria is an acute bacterial disease that can infect the body in the tonsils, nose, or throat and/or the skin. While this was a common childhood disease in the 1930s, a vaccine against diphtheria has now made it very rare in the U.S. and other developing countries.
Measles, also known as rubeola, is a very contagious viral illness. It has a distinct rash and a fever. It is usually spread through direct contact with droplets from coughs or sneezes from a person with measles.
Meningitis is a disease caused by an inflammation of the meninges - the membranes that surround the brain and spinal cord - and is usually caused by infection of the fluid surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Poliomyelitis, most often called polio, is spread by a virus and can cause paralysis. The disease is now rare in the U.S. because of a vaccine against the virus. However, polio still exists in a few countries.
Tetanus is a sometimes fatal disease of the central nervous system, caused by a poison (toxin) made by the tetanus bacterium which usually enters the body through an open wound. Tetanus bacteria live in soil, manure, the human intestine and other places.