Haemophilus Influenzae

Haemophilus is the name of a group of bacteria. There are several types of Haemophilus and they can cause different types of illnesses involving breathing, bones and joints, and the nervous system.

One common type, Hib (Haemophilus influenzae Type B), causes serious disease. Hib infection is passed from person-to-person by inhaling droplets of an infected person’s mucous or coming into direct contact with it. It usually occurs in children under five years of age. If the bacteria stays in the child’s nose and throat, the child probably will not get sick. But sometimes the bacteria spread into the lungs or the bloodstream and can cause serious problems such as meningitis and pneumonia.

There is a vaccine to prevent Hib disease. All children younger than five years of age should be vaccinated with the Hib vaccine.

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