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Despite all the coverage about the Ebola virus, the Immunization Partnership has come up with five things that are scarier than the virus, and influezna tops the list.

Partnership president and CEO Anna Dragsbaek said 20 people died from the flu in Texas last year.

“We had children die from a vaccine preventable disease and we didn’t protect them properly,” Dragsbaek said. “That to me is scarier than the Ebola outbreak.”

Pertussis, or what’s better known as Whooping Cough, is next. Dragsbaek said Texas had 3,985 cases last year or more than any other place in the United States.

“It’s really dangerous for infants because they can’t clear their lungs of the bacteria,” Dragsbaek said.

Neglected Tropical Diseases, such as Chagas, Chikunkgunya and Dengue Fever are third on the list, and there are currently no vaccines to prevent the spread of these diseases.

Measles is fourth, and then people who refuse vaccines rounds out the top five.

Dragsbaek said 30,000 Texas school children have not had their vaccines due to a state law that allows uninformed parents a refusal option.

“If there is an outbreak, those children can spread a vaccine-preventable disease,” Dragsbaek said, “and that’s scarier than Ebola.”

Dragsbaek admits that in many ways, vaccines are a victim of medical success.

“We don’t see the diseases commonly known anymore and so people forget how dangerous they are,” she said.

She recommends that everyone bring their shots up to date and if you have any questions about what you’ve heard, check with your doctor. She says it could save your life.

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5 Things That Are Scarier Than Ebola  was originally published on