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Vaccines > MMR > MMR-DTP
Febrile Seizures after 
MMR and DTP Vaccinations
Measles, Mumps, & Rubella - MMR Vaccine
Diphtheria, Tetanus, and Pertussis - DTP Vaccine 

The August 30, 2001 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine published a study entitled "The Risk of Seizures after Receipt of Whole-Cell Pertussis or Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine" by William E Barlow and colleagues.

At a glance:  Parents concerned about the link between childhood vaccinations and seizures need not worry, according to the results of this study. The study found that children who suffered rare fever-related seizures after getting DTP (diphtheria, tetanus, and whole-cell pertussis) and MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccinations did not have an increased risk for subsequent seizures or neurodevelopmental (e.g., learning) disabilities. The study did confirm what was already known– that DTP and MMR vaccinations can temporarily increase the risk for fever-related, or what are called "febrile" seizures, in some children. Since the period covered by this study, the use of acellular pertussis (DTaP) vaccine has replaced DTP vaccine in the United States. DTaP has been associated with fewer side effects than DTP, including febrile seizures.

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about the 
Answers the following questions:
  • What are febrile seizures and what causes them?
  • What are the health effects of fever-related seizures?
  • How often do fever-related seizures happen after DTP and MMR vaccination?
  • When do fever-related seizures tend to happen?
  • Given the risk of seizures, should parents have their children vaccinated?
  • What can be done to prevent fever-related seizures following vaccination?
  • What should you do if your child has a seizure following a vaccination?
  • Who conducted this study?
  • How was the study done?
PDF fileMMR vaccine  Printable description of what MMR is, who should get the vaccine, what the risks are, etc. (.pdf file - 44534 bytes) 


Measles disease Takes you to the Measles pages that explain this disease along with related topics (i.e., description, recommendations for prevention, history, etc.)

Mumps disease Takes you to the Mumps pages that explain this disease along with related topics

Rubella disease  
(German Measles)
Takes you to the Rubella pages that explain this disease along with related topics

PDF fileDTP vaccine Printable description of what DTP is (not to be confused with DTaP), who should get the vaccine, what the risks are, etc. (.pdf file - 48156 bytes) (text-reader version)

PDF fileDiphtheria 
Summary: VPD Surveillance Manual Chapter 1 (v. 1999). In recent epidemics, the majority of cases of diphtheria have occurred among adolescents and adults, instead of children. Respiratory diphtheria begins 2-5 days after... 


PDF fileTetanus 
Summary: VPD Surveillance Manual Chapter 13 (v. 1999). Tetanus: In spite of the availability of tetanus toxoid (TT), tetanus continues to cause a substantial health impact on the world...


PDF filePertussis 
(Whooping Cough)
Summary: VPD Surveillance Manual Chapter 8 (v. 1999). Pertussis (whooping cough) disease description...


Accessibility Note: The above .pdf links will be available (by year end) in text-only format for text-readers. Until then, please contact for assistance.


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This page last modified on September 18, 2001


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