Chickenpox is caused by the highly contagious varicella zoster virus. It is spread by coughing and sneezing, and by direct contact with skin lesions.
About Infectious Diseases
Diphtheria is an acute bacterial disease that usually affects the tonsils, throat, nose, and/or skin.
Ebola is a rare and deadly disease caused by infection with a virus that can cause illness in humans and other primates (monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees).
Influenza (flu) is a highly contagious viral infection of the nose, throat, and lungs that occurs most often in the late fall, winter, and early spring in the US.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The most common types of viral hepatitis in the US are hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C.
Hib disease is a serious illness caused by bacteria. Babies and children younger than 5 years old are most at risk for Hib disease, but it can also affect adults with certain medical conditions.
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US that can cause certain cancers and genital warts.
Measles is a highly contagious respiratory disease that can result in severe, sometimes permanent, complications including pneumonia, seizures, brain damage, and even death.
Meningococcal disease is a serious bacterial infection that most often leads to severe swelling of the tissues surrounding the brain and spinal cord (meningitis) or infection of the bloodstream.
Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus that spreads easily through coughing and sneezing.
Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that are highly contagious. Commonly referred to as “food poisoning” or a “stomach bug,” noroviruses are the most common cause of gastroenteritis in the US.
Pneumococcal disease is caused by common bacteria that can attack different parts of the body and is a leading cause of serious illness throughout the world.
Polio is a highly infectious disease caused by a virus that invades the nervous system and is spread through contact with the stool (feces) of an infected person or droplets from a sneeze or cough.
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a respiratory virus that infects the lungs and breathing passages and can be serious, especially for infants and older adults.
Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus that infects nearly all young children and is one of the most common and serious causes of severe diarrhea in the US.
Rubella, sometimes called “German measles,” is caused by a virus and can cause serious birth defects.
Shingles is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. The virus stays inactive in the body for life and can reactivate years, or even decades later, causing shingles.
Tetanus, commonly called lockjaw, is a bacterial disease that affects the nervous system. It is contracted through cuts or wounds that become contaminated with tetanus bacteria.
Whooping cough (also called pertussis), is a serious infection that spreads easily from person to person. The infection causes coughing spells that are so severe that it can be hard to breathe, eat, or sleep.