Disease Information


Disease Information


Cervical cancer is the second most common cancer for European women aged 15-44 after breast cancer.1 HPV’s responsibility is proven in a majority of cervical cancer cases and a number of other cancers. Teen vaccination, followed by regular cervical screening, is recommended by both the World Health Organization and the European Union.2

Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal disease (PD) is a common cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide.3 The burden of disease is high among those aged 65 years and older and people of all ages with chronic conditions such as chronic heart disease, chronic respiratory disease and diabetes.4 In 2005, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimated 1.6 million deaths annually were caused by pneumococcus worldwide and the risk for developing PD increases with age.5,6 PD is caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae, also known as pneumococcus.


Herpes zoster (shingles) is a common and debilitating viral disease caused by the reactivation of the chicken pox virus that lies dormant in the body for years, rearing its head in older age. Approximately 1 in 4 Europeans will suffer from shingles during their life; possibly resulting in long lasting pain and debilitating postherpetic neuralgia. MSD recently introduced Zostavax, the first vaccine against shingles.


Rotavirus is a highly contagious virus and a leading cause of severe acute gastroenteritis in infants and children worldwide, infecting nearly all children by the age of 5, often more than once.7

Similar to the flu, there are different serotypes or strains of rotavirus. Serotypes vary from year to year, and more than one serotype can circulate simultaneously in a given region of the world. Therefore, it can be difficult to predict the serotype to which a child will be exposed.8


Chickenpox is an infectious disease caused by the highly contagious varicella zoster virus (VZV). The virus causes a blister-like rash, itching, tiredness and fever.9 Chickenpox is most common in children but anyone who has not had chickenpox can get the disease.10 In temperate climates, the peak incidence of chickenpox is during the winter and spring, with the highest incidence occurring in those less than 10 years of age.11

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is a liver disease caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV) and can affect individuals of all ages.12 Globally, approximately1.5 million new clinical cases of hepatitis A disease occur every year, but the rate of infection is probably as much as ten times higher.13 Hepatitis A infection is obtained through the fecal-oral route, such as:


Measles is a highly contagious viral infection that is most common among children. It is characterized by fever, cough, conjunctivitis, spots and a rash. Common complications of measles are otitis media, pneumonia, diarrhoea, more rare complications include encephalitis, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis and sometimes even death.

Despite a 75% drop in global measles deaths between 2000-2013 thanks to vaccination,14 according to the European Vaccine Action Plan 2015-2020, in 2013 alone, EU Member States reported 31 685 cases of measles.15


Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus.16 It typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness, and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. Outbreaks of mumps most commonly occur in places where people have had prolonged, close contact with a person who has mumps, such as attending the same class, playing on the same sports team, or living in the same dormitory.


Rubella is a contagious, generally mild viral infection that occurs most often in children and young adults.While the illness is generally mild in children, it has serious consequences in pregnant women causing fetal death or congenital defects known as congenital rubella syndrome (CRS). Worldwide, over 100 000 babies are born with CRS every year.17 The rubella virus is transmitted by airborne droplets when infected people sneeze or cough. Humans are the only known host.

[3] Pneumococcal disease. World Health Organization, last accessed November 2016

[4] PNEUMOVAX™ 23 (pneumococcal vaccine, polyvalent, MSD) WORLDWIDE PRODUCT LABELING. 2013.

[5] Pneumococcal disease. World Health Organization, last accessed November 2016

[6] Ludwig E. The remaining challenges of pneumococcal disease in adults. Eur Respir Rev 2012; 21: 123, 57–65

[8] Summary report for the SAGE meeting of October 2016, last accessed November 2016

[11] Munawwar A, Singh S. Human herpesviruses as copathogens of HIV infection, Their role in HIV transmission, and disease progression. Journal of Laboratory Physicians. 2016:8; Issue 1;5-18.

[12] Hepatitis A Fact Sheet. WHO July 2016, last accessed November 2016

[13] Franco E et al. Hepatitis B: Epidemiology and prevention in developing countries. World Journal of Hepatology. 2012 Mar 27; 4(3): 74–80.

[14] WHO – Measles Fact sheet N°286, last accessed November 2016

[15] WHO – European Vaccine – Action Plan 2015–2020, last accessed November 2016

[16] WHO – Mumps, last accessed November 2016

[17] Rubella Fact Sheet. WHO March 2016, last accessed November 2016