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What is Haemophilus influenzae?
Haemophilus influenzae, or H. influenzae, is a group of bacteria that cause different types of infections in infants and children. H. influenzae most commonly causes ear, eye or sinus infections and pneumonia. In rare cases, your child may develop a more serious strain of the bacteria, called H. influenzae type b (Hib) infections. This type has been nearly abolished in the United States thanks to the Hib vaccine. H. influenzae infections spread from child to child by direct contact or through the air. The good news is that these infections can be successfully treated with antibiotics.
Types of Haemophilus influenzae
What causes Haemophilus influenzae?
The H. influenzae bacteria live in the upper respiratory tract and are usually transmitted by close contact with an infected individual. Droplets in the air from a sneeze, cough or close conversation can be inhaled and may also cause infection.
What are the symptoms ofHaemophilus influenzae?
Symptoms vary depending on the specific infection:
Can you prevent Haemophilus influenzae?
Immunization with the Hib vaccine can help prevent Haemophilus influenzae type b disease and meningitis. The Hib vaccine is recommended for infants at 2, 4, 6 and 15 to 18 months.
We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”