Signs and Symptoms of Illness/Disease

Many infectious diseases can be prevented by vaccines. Each disease has its own specific symptoms. However, there are some general signs of illness you can monitor.

  • Fatigue
  • Fever or Body Chills, Headaches or Muscle Aches
  • Vomiting/Diarrhea
  • Congestion
  • Cough


What are vaccines?

Vaccines use very small amounts of antigens to help the body’s immune system recognize diseases and learn to fight them. Antigens include any substance that causes the body’s immune system to respond and go to work fighting the virus.

Vaccines are safe and effective for children and adults. By following the CDC recommended immunization schedule and getting vaccinated as suggested by your healthcare provider, you can help protect your children, loved ones and yourself with the best protection against several vaccine-preventable diseases.

Which diseases can be prevented with vaccines?

Today’s vaccines help protect from these diseases:

Varicella (Chickenpox) (VAR)

A virus that causes an itchy, blistery rash all over the body, along with fever and drowsiness. It spreads through the air or by contact with fluid from the rash. LEARN MORE


A bacterial disease usually spread through contaminated water. It can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. A majority of people may have mild symptoms. However, it can become very serious and lead to death if not treated for those who develop severe symptoms. LEARN MORE

Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

A disease caused by the virus, SARS-CoV-2, discovered in December 2019. It causes a respiratory illness similar to the common cold or flu. It is spread person to person through respiratory droplets in the air from coughing, sneezing or talking. Symptoms can include cough, fever, difficulty breathing or loss of taste or smell. In some cases, Covid-19 can cause severe illness, hospitalization or death. LEARN MORE



Long COVID is a wide range of new, returning or ongoing health problems that people experience after being infected with the virus that causes COVID-19. Most people with COVID-19 get better within a few days to a few weeks. LEARN MORE


A disease caused by bacteria that live in an infected person’s mouth or throat, spread through coughing and sneezing. Symptoms can include a sore throat or fever, and it may cause difficulty breathing. LEARN MORE

Hepatitis A (Hep A)

A contagious liver disease found in bowel movements that can spread by personal contact or through contaminated food or water. LEARN MORE

Hepatitis B (Hep B)

A virus spread through contact with infected blood or other body fluids, or from mother to baby at birth. It can cause liver disease and yellow skin or eyes (jaundice). LEARN MORE

Haemophilus Influenza Type B (Hib)

A disease caused by bacteria spread through the air by coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include ear infections and serious throat swelling. It mostly affects children under five years old. LEARN MORE

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

A group of common viruses that infect adult men and women as well as teens. It is spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact, most commonly through vaginal or anal sex. Most infections go away on their own, but others can lead to certain types of cancers. LEARN MORE

Influenza (Flu)

A respiratory virus spread through the air by coughing, sneezing, talking or from surfaces that have the virus on them. The flu affects each person differently and symptoms vary. LEARN MORE

Japanese Encephalitis

A viral infection spread by mosquitoes in Asia and the western Pacific. Less than 1 percent of infected people get sick, but it can make 1 in 250 people severely ill. Symptoms can include high fever, headache, weakness and confusion. LEARN MORE


A very contagious virus that can cause a rash all over the body, fever, runny nose and cough. It spreads through the air by coughing, sneezing and even breathing. LEARN MORE

Meningococcal Disease

A bacterial disease spread through saliva and respiratory droplets in the air from coughing, sneezing or talking. The two most common types of infections from meningococcal disease are infections of the bloodstream or infections of the lining of the brain and spinal cord (meningitis). Symptoms similar to the flu can set in suddenly (fever, headache, stiff neck, vomiting) and progress quickly. The effects of this disease can be very severe. LEARN MORE


An infectious, viral disease caused by Orthopoxvirus. It spreads from person to person through close physical contact and can cause rashes, fever or chills, swollen lymph nodes, sore throat, headaches, muscle aches or back pain and fatigue. LEARN MORE


A contagious virus with no treatment. It spreads through the air and can cause fever, headache and inflammation of the salivary glands, leading to swelling of the cheeks and jaws. LEARN MORE

Pneumococcal Disease (Pneumonia)

A disease caused by bacteria spread through the air or by direct contact with infected saliva or mucus. It’s very dangerous for older adults and children and can cause ear and sinus infections, pneumonia and meningitis. LEARN MORE


A disease caused by poliovirus. It spreads from person-to-person contact or objects with the virus on it. In severe cases it can infect the spinal cord, causing paralysis. About one in four people who catch poliovirus will have flu-like symptoms like sore throat, fatigue, fever and headache. LEARN MORE


A viral disease transmitted through direct contact with saliva from an infected animal, most often through an animal bite. When symptoms first appear, they may be similar to the flu including weakness, fever, headache and discomfort at the site of the bite. As symptoms progress it can lead to confusion, anxiety and agitation. Once clinical signs of rabies appear, the disease is nearly always fatal. LEARN MORE

Rotavirus (RV)

A virus spread easily by hands, diapers or objects that have a small amount of infected stool on them. It can cause severe diarrhea, vomiting and fever, which can lead to severe dehydration. LEARN MORE


A common respiratory virus that usually causes mild, cold-like symptoms. Most people recover in a week or two, but RSV can be serious. Infants and older adults are more likely to develop severe RSV and need hospitalization. LEARN MORE

Rubella (German Measles)

A virus spread through coughing and sneezing that causes swollen glands, a slight fever, rash and occasionally arthritis-like symptoms. LEARN MORE

Shingles (Zoster)

A virus caused by varicella zoster virus (VZV), the same virus that causes chickenpox. After a person recovers from chickenpox, the dormant (inactive) version of the virus lives in the body and can reactivate years later, causing shingles. It causes a painful rash around one side of the face or body with blisters. Other symptoms include fever, headache, chills and upset stomach. LEARN MORE

Tetanus (Lockjaw)

A bacterial disease that enters through deep cuts and puncture wounds. It can cause headaches and spasms in the jaw muscles, leading to lockjaw. LEARN MORE

Typhoid Fever

An illness caused by the Salmonella Typhi bacteria. It is spread through sewage contamination of food or water or through contact with an infected person. Most people in the U.S. who become ill with typhoid fever have traveled to other countries where the disease is more common. Symptoms include stomach pain, weakness, headache, diarrhea or constipation, cough and loss of appetite. LEARN MORE

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

A highly contagious disease caused by bacteria spread through the air. It can cause violent coughing spells that can affect eating, drinking and breathing. LEARN MORE

Yellow Fever

A virus found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. It spread to people through the bite of an infected mosquito. Most infected people will not have symptoms. Other people may experience symptoms like pains, headaches, chills, nausea or vomiting, weakness and fatigue. A few people may develop more severe symptoms that may require treatment from a healthcare provider. LEARN MORE

When should children and adults be vaccinated?

A schedule of recommended vaccines is provided from the CDC. The Louisiana Department of Health provides a summary of these recommendations.